Posted on August 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM
Tuesday, Aug 7 at 6:21 PM
DALLAS - Near record temperatures are taxing our power grid and causing dangerous transformer troubles in at least one Dallas neighborhood where fires were sparked by power line explosions.
"Basically, I walked outside of my deck and the black cable coming from the transformer, the one that makes the 'L' was on fire," said Jarrod Rowland.
Rowland said within a matter of seconds, his alley was on fire.
"The fire dropped a spark, dropped down caught the grass on fire, caught the poll on fire, my garage and almost my fence," he said.
His neighbor's fence was also burned. It's the same story on the very next block. Residents there lost a guest house.
Tom Hoggard is a real estate agent in Lakewood and said he saw similar types of fires on almost every street.
"It's more pronounced this year for whatever reason than it ever has been," he said.
Oncor officials agreed.
"What we are seeing in this specific neighborhood is we have seen some instances of equipment failure," said a spokesperson with the company. "It can happen."
Oncor wouldn't give a specific number of fires, only saying that there has been an increase.
Hoggard said one homeowner reportedly called Oncor several times to complain their lights were flickering just before a fire broke out.
"On three different occasions, Oncor came out and said 'no,'" Hoggard said. "'It's just because of a temporary overload; the problem will correct itself.' Well, obviously it did and it burned the garage down."
Oncor officials said they are investigating the cases, but residents in the area like Rowland said that's not good enough. They want the old transformers in the area replaced to prevent future fires.