NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother and daughter in Brooklyn were rushed to the hospital after they suffered electric shocks from downed power lines.
A scorched tree and charred stone wall outside the Khalifa family home is little compared to the emotional trauma Ihab Khalifa says his wife and 18-year-old daughter are dealing with after nearly being electrocuted.
“They’re beside themselves,” he told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “They’re horrified.”
It was just after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when neighbors say they were woken by the first of several loud explosions. The power lines, which run through the branches of the trees on Khalifa’s sidewalk on 83rd Street and 11th Avenue in Dyker Heights, somehow snapped.
“All of a sudden, I heard a big boom and light,” Khalifa said.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Khalifa looked outside and saw flames engulfing the tree.
“The noise that came out from those electrical wires was like something out of the movies,” said resident Emanuele Imo. “It was unreal.”
That light was a growing fire on the tree outside Khalifa’s living room window. He says as he watched the flames on the trunk grow larger by the second, he screamed to his wife and daughter to get out while he and neighbors scrambled to call for help.
“Even as I called 911, I was gasping for air,” Imo said. “I was trying to tell dispatch what address it was and I couldn’t get the address out of my
Barefoot and with the power out, Khalifa’s wife and daughter tried to feel their way through their backyard and their neighbor’s, but before they could make it to the front, they felt a zap and a current travel through their bodies.
“My daughter was panicked and screaming, asking for help,” Khalifa said.
Con Edison crews say 27,000 volts of power run through the wires.
“They just were scared,” another neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “Very, very scared.”
About 700 customers also lost power, but service has since been restored.
The homeowners want the city to prune the trees, which they hope will prevent another fire from reoccurring.
“You had to eliminate the problem because this is going to happen again,” Khalifa said. “They have to do something.”
Con Ed crews say they’re asking for a rep from the city to come out and assess the tree. As for Khalifa’s wife and daughter, he’s relieved doctors say they are very much shaken, but OK.
“Thank God,” he said.
The homeowner says he and neighbors have made several complaints to 311, but the city says they have no relevant complaints at the address which they say means if someone did call, they were transferred to 911.