Fire erupts after alleged tampering

COVINGTON - While allegedly trying to save money on their power bill, a Covington couple is now facing more than $6,000 in fire and smoke damages to their home in the Settlers Grove subdivision, according to the Covington Fire Department.

Capt. Rob Christopher said the CFD was summoned to the residence at 9245 Settlers Grove Road about 10:45 p.m. Sunday and saw light smoke coming from the eaves of the house.

"Firefighters made an initial attack and found that the fire was in the exhaust fan and some of the insulation in the ceiling of an upstairs bathroom," Christopher said. "It took a very short time to extinguish, less than 10 minutes. The fire was contained to the room of origin."

Christopher said the damage to the home and contents was mainly due to smoke.

Wendy Cody, a woman identified by the Covington Police Department as a tenant in the home, told officers that the power to the residence had been cut off Friday, but a man in the neighborhood had shown her husband and sons how to illegally hookup the power, according to an incident report completed by Officer Anthony Walden.

Walden stated in the report that Cody said she had just gone to bed when one of her sons shouted there was a fire in the bathroom vent fan and attic. She said she noticed the lights in the house dimmed and she heard a loud popping noise.

"(Cody) stated that her sons ran outside and removed the illegal hook-up from the electric meter ... and that she and her children tried to remove clothing from the residence, but could not because of the smoke coming from the house," the report stated.

The woman was ticketed for theft of services in connection with the illegal electric hookup and the American Red Cross was notified that the family would need assistance.

No one was hurt in connection with the fire.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.