Livonia family claims DTE Energy took hours to cut power to downed lines near home

Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 22:35:32-04

LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — People living in homes near Harrison and Joy in Livonia are livid, saying they waited nearly four hours for DTE Energy to cut power to downed lines on fire. They describe a volatile situation, next to homes with families inside.

“My family and I heard a loud pop, and we could see the fire next door from the downed lines” says neighbor Kira Leeper.

Leeper posted a video to Facebook, after she says the power company did not come back and cut power for nearly four hours.

“We were all afraid that it could spread to another home at any time” adds Leeper.

The frightening scene played out about 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Justin Jaroh, who lives at the home where downed lines fell out front, says it was also hard to believe that the first DTE employee who came out did not do more, or have more answers.

“It was like no one knew why it was taking so long, or when the flames would stop being fueled. Even the firefighters were angry” says Jaroh.

In a statement to 7 Action News, DTE disputes some of those claims saying the downed lines didn’t burn for that amount of time. They say the area was taped off, however they would not explain why it took more than 4 hours for all the power to actually be cut.

The statement reads: "The local fire department contacted DTE about this downed wire at 9:09 pm last night. A DTE field service employee was at the home by 9:55 pm. The employee put caution tape around the wire and noted it was no longer burning. The employee stayed at the home for over an hour to ensure our customer’s safety. Our work crews arrived shortly after 1 am this morning and took additional action to make sure the wire was not hazardous. We appreciate our customer’s diligence in staying at least 20 feet away from this downed power line.: