Squirrel Ignites Potentially Dangerous Electrical Fire

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A Midland neighborhood is thankful for one of their neighbors after he helped put out a big problem started by a little creature.

An electrical fire almost caused serious damage, but the quick thinking of a resident prevented it from getting any worse.

Steve Brooks was just sitting at home watching TV when he heard a big pop and lost electricity.

He said he went outside to his backyard when he saw smoke coming from the alley so he grabbed his water hose and immediately began dousing the small grass fire.

The Midland Fire Department also responded but Brooks had already put out the fire by the time they got there.

Brooks says they told him it was probably a transformer that started it, but he still didn't feel right after the fire department left.

And sure enough, about five minutes later, Brooks saw another fire break out in the alley.

But this one was more dangerous than the previous fire.

"It was like a fireworks show in the alley, and I guess the line had fallen to the ground," Brooks said. "You could hear the electricity buzzing. I was just glad I was home because normally I'm not, and I don't know what would've happened if I hadn't seen it because it was spreading pretty quick."

Chief Lee Wise with the Midland Fire Department said situations like these don't occur very often but he does warn residents to leave electricity in the hands of professionals.

"Around electricity you gotta be very careful, I mean, even we do," he said. "I'm glad it turned out ok in this situation. We certainly appreciate his help and I think he did a good job."

A squirrel is to blame for all the commotion.

NewsWest 9 spoke with one resident who said she's very grateful for her neighbor because he helped stop a potentially dangerous situation.

And as for Brooks, he said it was simply a matter of him being in the right place at the right time.