Washington Neighborhood Power Surge Sparks Appliance Fires

December 8, 2011

Some residents of a Covington, Wash., neighborhood were awakened early Tuesday by what sounded like fireworks, and when they looked around, they saw sparks.

Puget Sound Energy says a fire in an underground cable vault caused a power surge to 14 homes in the suburb southeast of Seattle.

Residents told KOMO-TV sparks flew from refrigerators, TVs, computers and street lamps as the power went out.

Kent Fire Department spokesman Kyle Ohashi says there was only one small fire on the exterior of a home and no injuries. He says damage to some homes was apparently caused by having the TV cable and the electrical system connected to the same grounding rod.

Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken says residents may file a damage claim with the utility.

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