A woman had to leave her home in order to find help after a short circuit sparked an electrical fire and a power outage because she was unable to get cell phone service in northeast New Canaan.
The incident took place on Saturday when New Canaan firefighters were on the scene of a tree and wires down on Laurel Road when the resident drove up and informed them that there was a fire in her home on Bob Hill Lane, said New Canaan Fire Marshal Fred Baker.
Firefighters immediately radioed communications to dispatch for a structure fire and responded to the scene. First arriving units found no fire but, a shorted surge protector, Baker said.
"Apparently when the power went out there was a surge that caused the short circuit," he said. "There was a light smoke haze in the room with the device."
When the homeowner tried to call 911, the internet-based phone was dead due to the power failure.
"Due to the well-documented issue of lack of cell service in northern New Canaan, the homeowner was forced to get in her car and start driving south until picking up cell service," Baker said.
"This homeowner was lucky because she came across firefighters," he added.
Baker said it's strongly recommended for homeowners to have a “UPS” or “un-interruptable power supply — a battery backup — for Internet-based phone systems, especially in areas where there is limited cell service.
The problem may also extend to home security and fire alarm system, he added.
Homeowners should check with their alarm companies for redundancies.
For further assistance regarding this issue please contact the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-594-3030.
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