On Monday, Sept. 2, a windstorm blew a tree into an adjacent power line, resulting in it catching on fire and eventually causing the power line to bust. The property owners were advised by the local fire department to stay off the front of the lawn until the situation was resolved. Submitted Photo.

Barriere residents make the best of a busted power line incident

“We were told to stay off the lawn in case there was an electrical shock”

A gusty storm that blew through Barriere on Sept. 2, left a tree in flames, a power line severed and residents exiled on a front porch.

Despite losing power and emergency crews advising to stay off the lawn, a few local residents made the best of the situation.

“I had just put my kids to bed and was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden I heard this loud pop and then a buzzing sound,” said Shelby Nickel, who reported the incident around 7 p.m. on Monday. “We lost power in the house and I told the kids it would be out for a while.”

Nickel said he went outside after hearing the noise and noticed a tree fell onto the power line, which caused the fire.

“I thought we blew a transformer but I could see it was still glowing through the window,” said Nickel.

Earlier that morning, the Nickel’s neighbour had called to get the trees removed. When she returned home that evening, they were on fire.

“The wire was dangling and there were these sparks,” said Nickel. “We were told to stay off the lawn in case there was an electrical shock.”

Fire crews blocked off the road, but because the house was behind the power line, emergency crews couldn’t get to the neighbour properties. The Nickels and their neighbours waited on the porch until BC Hydro repaired the power line.

“We watched the fire burn out because they couldn’t get to it,” said Nickel. “We were on the porch for a little over three hours.”

The residents couldn’t do much and to make the best of it, they had a little front porch party.

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