Friday, November 30, 2007

Electric Company Turns Off Power, Family of Four Dies in Fire

This has to be one of the most cruel and insensitive stories I have read. A giant power corporation, Toledo Edison, part of FirstEnergy Corporation, turned off the electricity to a home only days after the family moved in. To keep warm, candles were lit and a fire killed the mother and three children.

Toledo Edison shut off power to the home hours before the fire started because the family — who moved in last month — failed to set up an account. Power was expected to be restored yesterday morning, but at the time of the blaze the family was without heat or electricity.

'Failed to set up an account' is the reason for the shut-off. How shameful. How business-centered.

The Blade reports: Firefighters found the children in an upstairs bedroom in the back of the house. Yaniela and Ivan were lying next to each another on a bed; Victoria was found under a window. Ms. Crawford was in the living room. After Mr. Diaz awoke, he said he immediately began breaking windows with his fist to clear the thick smoke from the home. He began gagging, ran out the back door, and continued yelling for his children.“I knew they were up there,” Mr. Diaz said while tearfully recounting the events.Within minutes, he returned inside and tried to rescue the children from the second floor. Mr. Diaz ran up three steps, but said the heavy smoke and intense heat kept him from going any further.“I could see the top of the stairs,” he said. “I couldn’t make it.

Greed. Corporate greed. Three children and their mother dead for profits. Welcome to America.
I wonder, this morning, how FirstEnergy CEO Anthony J. Alexander is feeling? No doubt he slept well last night in his high-class residence. After all, profits in the last quarter for FirstEnergy were $ 1,254,000,000 with assets of $31 billion. This Fortune 500 Corporation saw a 45% increase in profits from last year to this.

And it turned off the power to a family of five because they had not yet set up an account. A good lesson to other customers? Who would doubt that thinking in this era of greed?

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