People are crazy and at least one of those crazy people works for the local utility company. Saturday night we were driving home from dinner out (it was ok, too expensive but lovely soup). A big storm with lots of lightning had been hovering over the area for several hours and we were admiring the bolts that went sideways AND the ones that went up and down. As we were driving along Daisy Lane, which is a tiny road we use as a shortcut, we saw an electrical pole on fire. Pretty fire, green and blue fire was all over the junction box and coming down the pole and flickering along the wires. We carefully drove past and went the rest of the way home (.25 mile). I put the kids to bed and The Man called the power company. The Man reported the fire on the electrical pole and box and the Employee said it was not their problem! She said that it was a fire so we should call the fire department. Will the fire department touch that fire? Take it from me, they will not try to put out that fire - they will call the power company and then when the power company has turned off the power or cut the lines THEN the fire department will put out the fire. Can you tell we've seen lots of electrical fires around here? Hurricane Isabel did a number on our electrical structure.
15 minutes later just as the kids got settled into bed and I pulled out my knitting, the power went out. Guess what? The fire overtook the junction box, it exploded, and the fire spread. Three poles were taken down in the ensuing chaos. The fire department came and stood around until the power company showed up. It took the power company 5 hours to get power back to the neighbourhood! Turns out that several people called the power company right after lightning hit the box but they were told that if the box had really been hit the power would have gone out so they must be mistaken and it was a phone line. Right.