WATCH: Downed Powerline Explodes in the Hands of Evansville Firefighter
Evansville Police Chief Mike Thompson stated that the cause of the fire is suspected arson. It's possible the downed powerline was a result of the fire and not the cause.
It was a smoky scene on Monday night as various emergency units responded to a fire in Evansville, near the area of Fifth and King streets.
While various firefighters worked to contain the fire, other responders were tasked with handling what was then-believed to have started the fire.
Dispatch said that the fire was caused by a downed powerline, but as of now, K2 Radio News has been unable to confirm that with the on-duty Battalion Chief.
Still, we've captured this video of a firefighter attempting to handle what appeared to be the powerline, and tragedy was neatly avoided when the line sparked in the hands of the firefighter.
It was a scary moment, but the firefighter appeared to be okay, walking it off and taking a breath before working with his compatriots on the rest of the fire.
Rocky Mountain Power arrived shortly thereafter to take care of the powerline.
While firefighters are trained to handle situations like these, everyday civilians are not, which is why they should adhere to the following guidelines when it comes to a downed powerline.
According to PG&E, citizens should "always assume that a fallen power line is live, and follow these guidelines:
- Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick, broom or pole.
- Avoid touching anything, such as a car, object or equipment, or anyone who is in contact with a fallen power line.
- Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.
- Avoid driving over a fallen power line.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately to report a fallen power line.
Similarly, if your vehicle somehow comes across a downed powerline (or if a powerline goes down near your vehicle), you should:
- Stay inside your car. The ground around your car may be energized.
- Sound the horn, roll down your window and call for help.
- Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around your car can be injured.
- Use your mobile phone to call 9-1-1.
- Wait until the fire department, police or PG&E workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car before exiting the vehicle.
- Remove loose items of clothing.
- Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground.
- Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.
K2 Radio News will continue to update readers about the status of the Evansville fire.
A video of the powerline spark can be seen below. It occurs in the first 13 seconds of the video: