Grand Tower, IL – Faced with a raging inferno and no time to wait for the power company to respond to their rural location, Grand Tower firefighters used a shotgun to take down the live power lines leading to the burning home (video below).
The incident began just after 12 a.m. on Thursday, when a fire broke out at a vacant residence, Grand Tower Fire Department (GTFD) Chief Dennis Wright told Blue Lives Matter the following day.
The volunteer firefighters shut off the gas and electric meters at the house, but still needed the live wires outside the home to be disconnected from the pole so they could fight the blaze more safely.
“So, there wasn’t electric in the house because we shut it off, but we still had the live wire overhead,” Chief Wright explained. “And we had water all around this house – probably a foot deep in places – from working to get the fire out.”
The small town has no city police department. Emergency medical crews are about 18 miles away, and it would take a while for the electric company to make the trip over, the chief said.
That’s when he knew it was time to improvise, so he busted out a shotgun.
“We’ve had to resort to this in the past,” said Chief Wright, who has been with the GTFD for 30 years. “It’s become known as the Grand Tower Electric Disconnect.”
The chief said he has used a shotgun to successfully take down power lines three other times over the years.
“And it worked,” he noted.
But when Chief Wright stopped to tell a local deputy who arrived at the scene what his plan entailed, he was met with disbelief.
“I went over and told him what we’re gonna do,” the chief recounted. “And he said WHAT?!”
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