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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