The head of a Detroit utility has told the City Council that illegal electrical hookups may have played a role in a series of fires that swept through a number of neighborhoods, destroying 29 occupied homes.
The Detroit News reports that Detroit Edison President Steve Kurmas said during a public hearing Wednesday there is evidence of illegal taps in abandoned houses.
The utility has been criticized that it responded too slowly to the Sept. 7 reports of downed power lines across the city. City officials have said 71 houses and garages – most vacant and abandoned – caught fire.
Wind gusts of up to 50 mph helped spread the fire.
Some on the council also were critical of the fire department’s response that day.
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APNT 10-06-10 2119EDT