WALTHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds of homes were damaged in Waltham after Eversource said a rodent infestation caused two power surges and damage to its electrical system.
Waltham firefighters worked on both power surges, one last October and one last June. Residents said they heard popping sounds, smelled an odor and lost power.
Waltham officials, including Waltham City Councilor Colleen Bradley-MacArthur, said they want the Department of Public Utilities to investigate, but the state is opting to rely on Eversource’s response.
“We need a formal investigation,” Braldey-MacArthur said. “One incident is one incident too many, two incidents is a problem.”
A DPU official sent a letter to the city last week saying the department will “not launch a formal investigation,” because it is satisfied Eversource found the root cause of the power surges and has a suitable plan in place to fix it.
“We desperately need transparency in this process.We need the Department of Public Utilities to do the right thing and investigate,” said City Councilor Jonathan Paz .“The people of Waltham shouldn’t be living in fear, but they also shouldn’t be living in darkness. We can’t just take Eversource at their word.”
Eversource released a statement that said, “The DPU was satisfied with the findings of our investigation and the remedies we proposed to improve the safety and reliability of the local electric system.”
At least two homes caught on fire during the surges.
“Our furnace went, our pellet stove went, we had a small refrigerator that went,” said Lizzie Gelles, whose home suffered damage in October. “Obviously, our internet router went.”
A teenager was asleep inside one of the homes that suffered heavy damage, but he was able to escape. The owner of that home said Eversource is offering compensation, but at a depreciated value. Homeowners said they are not accepting that, and they’re worried more surges could come.
“It’s not our fault,” said Raimondo Alonge, who lost his home to the fire. “We didn’t cause it, so we want to be compensated 100 percent.”
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