A squirrel tightrope-walking along a power line may have jump-started a series of events Saturday that led to a fire in Franklin that destroyed a home, according to KATC-TV.

Firefighters were called to a smoking transformer at Willow and J.A. Hernandez streets shortly after 9 a.m. On the way, the dispatcher changed the call to a house fire in the 600 block of J.A. Hernandez Street, Franklin Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hildreth said.

When firefighters arrived, they found the home engulfed in flames with smoke billowing out, Hildreth said. Fire trucks from neighboring towns were called to assist the firefighters. The fire was brought under control shortly before 11 a.m.

Hildreth said they think the fire began in the hot water heater, but he attributed the cause to an odd series of events that began when a squirrel was running along a power line and touched the pole while one foot was still on the line. Hildreth said the squirrel was the conduit conducting the electricity. An electrical arc formed that severed the connection of the pole and the line.

The wire fell, still live, onto the telephone line running to the house, welding the two lines together. Normally telephone companies ground their lines to the gas pipes, which would lead to a chain reaction in the gas line, causing the fire, Hildreth said.

The squirrel was electrocuted and found dead on the sidewalk, Hildreth said.

Neighbors told investigators they heard a series of loud pops before the fire and saw a large electrical arc, Hildreth said.

Lightning strikes school, sparks blaze

Lightning struck Acadiana High School Saturday night causing a power surge that led to a small fire, according to KATC-TV.

Firefighters were dispatched about 9:30 p.m. when a fire alarm went off at the school, according to a Scott Fire Department news release.

Investigators determined that a lightning strike caused a power surge and activated the alarm, the release said. No damage was reported at the time.

About two hours later, firefighters again responded to a fire alarm at the school and found a small fire in a hall closet, according to fire officials.

The power surge earlier that night caused the fan to overheat, smolder and ignite, Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said.

No structural damage was reported at the school. Classes will resume Tuesday morning.

Arrests posted May 25, 2015, on the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office website:

  • MICHEALA PATRICE BENJAMIN: 27, of the 400 block of Olivier Street, Lafayette. She was booked on obstruction of justice.
  • KAY LYNN BROUSSARD: 49, of the 100 block of East Pine Street, Lafayette. She was booked on aggravated battery.
  • KERRY V. BROWN: 44, of the 3200 block of Guadalope, Grand Prairie, Texas. He was booked on misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated; open container of alcohol in a vehicle; and stopping, standing, or parking.
  • TRAVIS LEE COMEAUX: 32, homeless, Lafayette. He was booked on three counts of warrant/bench warrant.
  • ROBERT CHRISTOPHER COOPER: 45, of the 200 block of St. Nicholas Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on felony battery of a police officer; misdemeanor domestic abuse battery; and resisting an officer.
  • CHARLES EDWARD DUHON: 55, of the 1000 block of 14th Street, Lafayette. He was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule II narcotics and possession of marijuana.
  • EROL GRAY: 51, of the 100 block of East Pine Street, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor domestic abuse battery.
  • MICHAEL WAYNE HEBERT: 46, of the 1000 block of West Congress Street, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor domestic abuse battery.
  • MICHAEL JOSEPH JONES JR.: 43, of the 700 block of Edison Street, Lafayette. He was booked on illegal possession of stolen firearms; misdemeanor theft; and misdemeanor theft of goods.
  • EDWARD JAMES JONES: 33, of the 300 block of Walter Drive, Carencro. He was booked on a warrant/bench warrant.
  • LAUREN DANE LAMBERT: 17, of the 100 block of Argest, Lafayette. She was booked on contributing to the delinquency of juveniles; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; and prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia).
  • YEREMI LEON: 24, of the 200 block of Al Pearson, Lafayette. He was booked on illegal carrying and discharge of weapons.
  • SHAWN QUINCY LIVING: 38, of the 400 block of Guidry Street, Lafayette. He was booked on misdemeanor domestic abuse battery.
  • ANDRE DANE MARCANTEL: 19, of the 100 block of Triangle Circle, Lafayette. He was booked on contributing to the delinquency of juveniles; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia); and violating a traffic signal.
  • JENA MARIE MOORE: 35, of the 1300 block of East Pont Des Mouton, Lafayette. She was booked on misdemeanor domestic abuse battery and simple criminal damage to property.
  • BRANDON PAUL MOUTON: 41, of the 100 block of Stelly Road, Carencro. He was booked on misdemeanor theft and obscenity.
  • ANDRE PERRY: 31, of the 500 block of Roselawn Boulevard, Lafayette. He was booked on false impersonation of a peace officer or firefighter and resisting an officer.
  • MILTON ROBERTS: 53, of the 1000 block of Ninth Street, Lafayette. He was booked on simple battery and a warrant/bench warrant.
  • NATHAN ASHTON SAVOY: 29, of the 900 block of St. Charles Street, Lafayette. He was booked on carrying a weapon while committing or attempting to commit a crime or while in possession or during sale or distribution of a controlled substance; distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule II narcotics; illegal possession of stolen firearms; improper display of license plate; misdemeanor distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule I narcotics; possession of firearm or carrying concealed weapon by a person convicted of felonies; prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia); residential parking permit violation; resisting an officer; and three counts of a warrant/bench warrant.
  • TERRENCE PAUL SIAS: 50, of the 200 block of East Clinton Street, Lafayette. He was booked on simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling.
  • LAKARRA LANAY STINER: 29, of the 200 block of Chag Street, Lafayette. She was booked on a warrant/bench warrant.
  • BRANDON LAMAR WILLIS: 31, of the 100 block of Morelan Drive, Lafayette. He was booked on simple assault.
  • TERRILL WILTZ: 39, of the 100 block of Gallien Street, Lafayette. He was booked on aggravated assault and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
  • ALANNA BOB ZENO: 41, of the 100 block of Ambrose Street, Lafayette. She was booked on obstruction of justice.