Power restored, but surge ignites Detroit home killing 95-year-old grandma

Different Smart Meter models lack surge protection.

From Fox 2, WJBK

By Erika Benson
March 17, 2017

– A 95-year-old grandmother died this week after she was rushed to the hospital after power was restored to the family’s home and a surge started a fire.

Reginald Hollman said after last week’s powerful storm, his family home lost power. When power was restored, he said a surge rushed through home, starting a massive fire.

Hollman, 56, said his childhood home is where is aunt and grandmother still lived. He would regularly stop by to see his 95-year-old grandmother, Amanda Walker, and on Monday he did just that. He was sitting in his car and charging his phone when a neighbor told him the power was back on. When he walked in, he immediately knew there was a problem.

“Then I went to go see if it was on and zzzz zzzz pop pop pop… it was burning,” Hollman said.

He rushed down to the basement to try and put the fire out but the flames were too much.

“It was blazing. I tried to put it out but the smoke was choking me up,” he said.

His grandmother was lying in the back bedroom and Hollman said he couldn’t get to her in time. Fire crews arrived and had to pull the woman out but she was in trouble.

“She came out all lifeless. It didn’t look right. I was hurt by that,” he said. “I started crying. I just couldn’t take it. They put her in the (ambulance) and took her to Detroit Receiving.”

He thought his grandmother would be okay since she hadn’t been sick – but the smoke was too much to take.

Three days later, Walker died at the hospital

“It’s a tragedy, but forget the house. I want my grandma back. But she’s gone,” he said.

Hollman admits that he wishes he or someone could have gotten to her sooner.

On Friday, he returned to his home on Garland Street to survey what’s left: melted photographs, broken glass, and walls damaged by smoke. Everything was burned. It’s all a painful reminder of everything he lost, the most important of which was his grandmother.

For now, he’s left with memories of his sweet grandmother and her southern style.

“My grandma was cool! She’s like Madea! My grandma was cool.”

The family needs help for the home and her funeral. Anyone willing to donate is asked to visit their GoFundMe account by clicking here.

http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/242346844-story

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