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Arcing Power Line Toasts Norwalk Pickup Truck

NORWALK, Conn. – Two downed power lines caused a vehicle and shed fire Monday night in Norwalk's Silvermine area, according to Norwalk Fire Department Deputy Chief Ed Prescott. About 60 people lost power because of the incident, according to a Connecticut Light & Power representative.

Two primary power lines were down at Belair Road and Comstock Hill Avenue, Prescott said. Power crews needed to do several things to shut off the power, and firefighters watched as a small brush fire began. Pouring water would have been dangerous with a live wire there, so they let it burn.

The wind was blowing, and a shed about 10 feet away caught fire, which spread to a nearby small pickup truck. Firefighters then positioned themselves to protect the side of the house. After the power was shut off, they doused the flames.

"We cannot pour water close to the power lines because the voltage that's on the ground can travel through the plants," Prescott said. "It can travel through anything; you can't see it."

Supervisors weighed the merits of saving the truck and the shed against the possibility of firefighters being electrocuted and "erred on the side of caution," Prescott said.

At about 9 p.m., power was restored, the CL&P representative said.

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