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Downed tree triggered Duffield fires

July 19th, 2013 10:24 am by Wes Bunch

Downed tree triggered Duffield fires

Crews from four Scott County fire departments responded to a multiple structure blaze Wednesday near Duffield that was caused when a tree downed a 12,000-volt power line. Photo courtesy Duffield Volunteer Fire Department.

DUFFIELD — Appalachian Power Co. officials said a tree blown over by Wednesday’s storms was to blame for downing a power line that sparked a five-structure fire in Duffield. 

Appalachian spokesman Todd Burns said the tree brought down a 12,000-volt distribution line that is used to power the Duffield Industrial Park. Appalachian work crews were dispatched to the scene shortly after the incident and began working on repairs and safety precautions immediately, Burns said. 

The downed power lines caused five structures to catch fire Wednesday evening as powerful storms began rolling through the region. Crews from volunteer fire departments in Duffield, Gate City, Weber City and Fort Blackmore spent over four hours battling the blazes. 

Duffield fire officials said the power line charged the ground near the structures, which in turn sparked the fires. Three firefighters were shocked during the initial response, but were reportedly uninjured.

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