Children ride their bikes over downed lines

EAST LIVERPOOL – Two youngsters escaped injury Sunday after riding their bicycles over power lines that had been knocked down by a falling tree along West Eighth Street.

The initial call came into the police department just after 2 p.m., with a caller stating he had seen a tree falling into the lines, sending up a large amount of sparks. A woman called within minutes, saying the tree had been deliberately cut and she had no power at her home.

The fire department responded at 2:09, where they found two primary lines and one secondary line had been snapped by the falling tree, according to assistant fire Chief Jeff Kreefer.

While firefighters stood by, waiting for AEP workers to arrive, they had to admonish one group of people who live nearby about walking toward the downed lines, telling them if they didn’t move away, the police officer who responded would be asked to arrest them.

Soon after, a boy and girl who Kreefer said were about 12 years old “came out of nowhere,” riding their bicycles over some of the fallen lines.

“They weren’t entangled in the wires; they were just on them. Fortunately, the part they were on wasn’t live. They weren’t injured,” Kreefer said, saying firefighters immediately ordered the children to stand in place until AEP employees arrived.

Kreefer said the AEP workers arrived quickly and went to an area on Lisbon Street to de-energize the lines affected, which also created a power outage to homes and businesses in the West End area for a short period.

Two ambulances were called to the scene as a precautionary measure, but the children did not require treatment, Kreefer emphasized.

The lines were repaired and power restored to the area, and the fire department cleared the scene by 4:17 p.m.

Southbound traffic was re-routed to the passing lane by city police until the lines could be repaired.