Power Surge Blamed in 2 Separate House Fires

A power surge is being blamed in fires that damaged two neighboring houses in an unincorporated area of DuPage County near Naperville, the Daily Herald reported.

Fires erupted about 6:27 a.m. Thursday in houses at 25W282 Gunston Ave. and 6S242 Cohasset Road. The homes abut one another in the unincorporated Century Hill area between Naperville and Lisle.

No injuries were reported in either blaze. County building inspectors have declared both houses unfit for occupancy.

A resident of the Gunston Avenue residence dialed 911 to report an "electrical burning" odor inside the house, along with the loss of electrical power, Deputy Naperville Fire Chief Mike Zywanski said Thursday.

Firefighters who responded to the scene discovered flames burning through the rear exterior wall of the home adjacent to its electric meter, Zywanski said. The main body of fire was soon found in that wall surrounding the meter, he said.

Fire was discovered shortly thereafter at the Cohasset Road address. As in the Gunston Avenue case, the fire on Cohasset Road was found "in the rear exterior wall immediately surrounding the electric meter," Zywanski said in a written statement.

Power failures and electrical odors were also reported by owners of nearby houses, although no other fires erupted.  Power was shut off to several other homes where electrical meters appeared to have overheated, but was restored a few hours later.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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