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Makeshift electricial sources causing house fires, raising concerns

Published On: Jan 08 2014 08:52:30 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

Two fires in Redding in the last week were allegedly caused by makeshift electricity set-ups.

People are literally taking the power into their own hands, and it has caused some concern for the city.

According to Redding Electric Utility (REU), the issue seems to be that folks are just trying to stay warm, or stay in their homes, when they are deemed uninhabitable.

First, it was a mobile home fire Sunday. The person living there was in the middle of an eviction process and did not have power. He admitted to using candles for heat. When firefighters arrived, half the mobile home was already engulfed in flames.

At a second fire Tuesday night, firefighters said the home's electricity was shut off and the homeowner used an extension cord from a neighbor’s home to keep some lights on.

REU said these situations can be avoided.

"If you're talking about a disaster, that's one thing because that happens immediately. But if you're talking about going through billing requirements, there's notifications,” said Redding Economic Development Liaison Patrick Keener. “Customers are given days if not weeks notifications before there's a shut-off notice."

Keener said the first priority is safety for the customer. He said if the power is shut off and the home is deemed uninhabitable that the residents need to get out.