71-year-old woman says Smart Meter torched house, killed puppies - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

71-year-old woman says Smart Meter torched house, killed puppies

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

CenterPoint Energy says it has installed over two million Smart Meters and they know of no fires in the Houston area related to those devices.

Jacklyn Harwood, 71, begs to differ.  If Harwood could have saved anything from her burning home, it would have been two little puppies she got just three days before the blaze.

"And I thought, my poor puppies, if I could have run in there, I would have," she said.

The July 23 fire killed those puppies and caused over $100,000 worth of damage to her home.  She blames the Smart Meter.

"They took the old one, which there was nothing wrong with the old one, and they put in this new one," she said.

"The fire traveled up the wall and we had another gate right here and it caught the gate then it caught the roof on fire," Harwood's friend, Robert Sarabia, said.

The Houston Fire Department report states this accidental fire is the result of an unspecified electrical malfunction occurring in the electrical meter.

One of the conductors leading away from the Smart Meter, showed signs of arcing and the fire originated where that conductor exited the meter box.

"CenterPoint, you owe it to me, the electric company, to come out and say, ‘Ma'am, ok, this is the meter, I'm not saying we're at fault, but what can we do for you'," Harwood said.

CenterPoint said Harwood's Smart Meter was installed in May 2011 and functioned properly.

Centerpoint is quick to point out the meter can, the wiring leading to the breaker box and the breaker box are not owned, maintained or installed by them.

"Her heart and soul is just crushed," Sarabia said.  "It's unbelievable, we just can't believe it."

Harwood has no insurance and says if she doesn't get some help repairing all the damage, she will end up losing the home she's had since 1977.

"It would mean so much to me to be back here," said Harwood.  "It doesn't have to be perfect, just so I can live here."

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