Detroit Fires Probe Looks Into Illegal Power

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detroit fires 090810 004 Detroit Fires Probe Looks Into Illegal PowerThe 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.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNT 10-06-10 2119EDT

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