Customers lose power Lines knocked down by ice, sleet

30,000 BGE

March 31, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

More than 30,000 of BGE's 44,000 customers in Carroll County were without electric power for varying periods Thursday evening and Friday morning as tree limbs, weighed down by freezing rain, sleet and ice, knocked down lines, officials said.

Peggy Mulloy, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman, said about 90 utility crews and supervisors -- about 300 employees in all -- worked all night Thursday and all day Friday to restore power.

County fire officials reported 98 calls for service between 5 p.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. Friday, including 83 for downed or arcing electric wires. Some caused fires, and others fell on roads, halting or slowing traffic until utility crews could make repairs.

Gradually warming temperatures Friday were a welcome relief, especially for Lineboro volunteers who handled about a dozen overnight calls before responding at 8: 35 a.m. Friday to a two-alarm house fire at Brodbeck and Carroll Wareheim roads near the Pennsylvania line in the northeast corner of Carroll County.

John Krebs, chief of the Lineboro Fire Company, said the rear of the split-level, wood-frame house was ablaze when firefighters arrived.

Four firefighters, Shawn Utz, 21, Russell Phillips, 20, Matt Blosser, 20 and William Caudill, whose age was unavailable, suffered minor smoke-related injuries, he said.

Mr. Utz and Mr. Phillips were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where they were treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Mr. Blosser and Mr. Caudill were treated at Carroll County General Hospital, the chief said.

Mr. Phillips was inside the house when the weakened floor collapsed, Chief Krebs said.

"As he fell, his face mask apparently was knocked loose and he took in some smoke," the chief said. "I believe the others were pretty aggressive in getting him out of there and also took in some smoke."

At that point, the chief ordered his firefighters to retreat, and the blaze was battled from outside until it was brought under control in about an hour.

No one was home when the fire broke out, he said. The State Fire Marshal investigated and initially determined that the fire started near a wood stove in the basement, he said.

Lineboro was assisted by volunteers from Manchester, Glenrock, Pa., New Freedom, Pa., and Hampstead, the chief said.

Pub Date: 3/31/96

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