Power surge sparks electrical fires in Grahamstown homes

Cable theft is believed to be behind a power surge that sparked electrical fires in Makhanda on Monday night.
Cable theft is believed to be behind a power surge that sparked electrical fires in Makhanda on Monday night.
Image: Ivan Trifonenko/www.123rf.com

Suspected theft of copper wire from a substation in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape caused a massive power surge that destroyed the electrical appliances of some residents and sparked electrical fires in the homes of others.

Municipal councillor Les Reynolds of the DA said his house was like a war zone late on Monday night, with lightbulbs exploding, smoke pouring out of his television and his freezer catching fire.

“It was unreal!” he said. "There was no municipal electrician on standby, so nothing could be done about it."

He said he put out the flames with a fire extinguisher and then ensured that everyone was safe.

The home of Tim Bull from the Grahamstown Residents’ Association almost caught fire when his fuse box exploded, melting the plastic and sending flames up the wall and into the ceiling.


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