Garbage truck snags SE Bend power line, sparks fire

Line arcs, burns hot; crews put out blaze

Fire by St Vincent de Paul on Bend

BEND, Ore. - A Cascade Disposal garbage truck snagged an overhead power line at the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank in southest Bend Tuesday morning, causing the line to arc and sparking a fire, officials said.

The incident happened shortly before 10 a.m. at the food bank at 950 Southeast Third Street, Battalion Chief Dave Howe said.

The truck pulled the "weatherhead" -- an overhead power or utility line service drop into a structure -- out of the wall and caused the power line to arc.

Howe said Bend firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the building and the arcing power line. They used a dry chemical fire extinguisher to keep the burning wires from igniting the structure.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera and found the temperature of the line conduit was well over 400 degrees, Howe said.

The fire department reminded everyone to look up and be aware of overhead hazards, as Howe noted "electric lines carry a tremendous amount of energy." 

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