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Caution urged as power comes back on

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:34 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – As ComEd restores power to Morris, the Morris Fire Protection & Ambulance District has been receiving calls of fires caused by debris on the lines as well as downed wires according to fire chief Tracey Steffes.

"When they re-energize the lines, some have debris on them, others are on the ground or on peoples homes," Steffes said. "These have been giving us some problems."

Steffes reiterated that the public should not consider any line dead, that the public doesn't know when power will surge down the line as power is restored. He said that lines leading to your home may be fed from a transformer or power line miles from your home, so you should not assume they are not being worked on.

He said fire crews responded to a small roof fire at McDonald's at about 7 a.m. that may have been caused by the power being restored, but it was under control quickly.

"We've also been called out to Third Avenue where a wire was on a house, and Jackson Street where it was laying on someone's back porch," he said. "If people see a wire down in their yard they should call ComEd to report it, and understand they may not get someone there before power is restored."

He said having the ComEd area response command post stationed at Fire Station 2 has been beneficial to both the fire department and ComEd.

"We are able to walk down the hall and talk to them as issues come up," Steffes said.

Power has been restored to critical infrastructure including the cities well pumps and the Morris Hospital.

He said power outages remain for perhaps 25 percent of Morris residents and while they are working to get power restored some residents will be staying in a dark house again tonight.

"They are putting their resources in the area that will get the most people online," Steffes said. "Individual outages will linger for several days."

He said while the response unit is stationed at the fire house the fire department has no control over which areas they work on.

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