Dog found electrocuted in downed power lines following Irma

A Northside St. Petersburg man is heartbroken after he found his dog wrapped in downed power lines.

Sanford Margolis tells WTSP his 4-year-old Siberian Husky, Kiba, was killed sometime between Friday and Saturday. Margolis says Friday night at around midnight, the dog got out. The St. Petersburg man says his dog normally goes out to relieve himself and comes back.

Only this time, Kiba didn't.

Police confirm Margolis called to report his missing pet. He tells us he scoured the neighborhood until someone called to say they found the dog's body in a 53rd Ave. N. backyard.

That same area is where neighbors say earlier last week, a transformer exploded. One neighbor showed us cell phone video of this happening in the rain.

"Why did it take so long to come and fix it or turn something off so anything bad couldn't happen?" asked Luke Baranoski who claimed to be one of the multiple neighbors who called Duke Energy to report the explosion and downed power lines.

Margolis told WTSP he's grateful a child didn't walk through the backyard.

He also says he took care of Kiba like his own child. "I love him with all my heart and I'm very mad," he said.

He wants Duke Energy to be held accountable.

Neighbors and Margolis tell WTSP a Duke Energy crew came out to shut the power so he could at least retrieve his dog's body. Assisting crews came back on Sunday to fix the lines and restore power in that area.

Statement from Duke Energy:

Our deepest sympathies for their loss. We know pets can be a part of the family. Everyone should consider all downed power lines and electrical wires as energized or live, as well as anything in contact with these lines. We encourage customers to report all power line hazards to Duke Energy or your local emergency services department or agency.

Here are some safety considerations:
               - Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, fields, school yards, etc.).
               - If it is a life-threatening situation involving a downed power line, call 911.
               - If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate, life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
               - Be aware that water/flooding can hide downed power lines and electric current passes easily through water. Fallen trees can also hide downed lines.


Peveeta Persaud, APR
Duke Energy, Corporate Communications

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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