Previously inspected power meter catches fire in Regina

Another SaskPower meter caught fire in Regina on Thursday.

8th fire occurred Thursday in the Normanview neighbourhood

The eighth fire occurred in the Normanview neighbourhood on Thursday. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

SaskPower said another power meter caught fire on Thursday, the eighth since mid-July.

The fire occurred in the Normanview neighbourhood, one of three areas identified by the Crown corporation as being areas of interest due to the age of the homes there. The other neighbourhoods of interest are Glencairn and Uplands.

The culprit meter had been previously inspected back in July. Now, SaskPower will have to re-inspect 426 previously inspected homes.

Though there may have been no damage at the time, the shifting ground may have caused some damage since then. Their power boxes will be removed entirely and repaired.

Since about mid-July, there have been seven other meter fires at Regina homes. The fires were caused by damage to the boxes which contain the meters, where ground shifting due to dry conditions had pulled on the contraption's wiring.

SaskPower has inspected about 5,600 homes in the past month. The number of homes left to inspect has grown to 3,200, most of which are in the three aforementioned neighbourhoods.

As well, the company has received thousands of calls from people and about 600 people are waiting for an inspection. A spokesperson for the company said it is hoping to get the inspections finished by end of day Saturday.

Half of the meters in Regina have been flagged for repair; overall about 45 per cent of all meters in the province have been flagged.

Outside of Regina, meters were being inspected in Moose Jaw, Shaunavon, Kindersley and Rosetown. 

The shifting ground in southern Saskatchewan was caused by a dry summer — also the driest July Regina had seen in 130 years.

What to look for

Residents are encouraged to check their power meter boxes and see whether the unit has tilted, which might indicate a cable has shifted.

Signs to look for are a tilted meter box, the meter being pulled off of the house, frayed wires pushing out of the bottom of the box, or a new, significant gap between the house and the ground in the power box area.

If this is the case, residents are asked to contact SaskPower at 1-888-757-6937.

SaskPower said it will ​send someone within 72 hours, but may send someone immediately if the damage is significant.