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Semco's System Mishap Destroys Two Homes

Semco's System Mishap Destroys Two Homes

Multiple fires were reported last Tuesday afternoon in Battle Creek, MI, as an "incident" at Semco's Battle Creek gas system resulted in two destroyed homes and extensive residential damage. Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, Semco said. One report said the incident occurred when a high-pressure line was mistakenly connected to a low-pressure residential line.

Preliminary investigations indicate the problem, which caused residential pilot lights to increase, occurred due to a combination of human error and an error in the map of a distribution line. As of the end of the day Thursday, Semco had checked out 25 of the 39 fire claims. Besides the two homes that were destroyed, 14 had no damage, six had damage to their furnaces and three had damage to their furnaces and water heaters.

Company personnel turned off gas supply to 1,000 homes after the incident. Semco said it will be three days before total service is restored. Affected customers have been advised to contact their insurance company to work with Semco claims representatives on damage repairs. The investigation is continuing.

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