Narrow Escape

It is severe weather season, and getting your wires crossed is never a good idea.  We are reminded of both these facts by a story from the June 2, 1903 Skidmore Standard:

Tuesday of last week lightning struck the telephone wires running into J. M. French & Co’s hardware store and came very near setting the building on fire.  The wires from the Nodaway Valley telephone and the Hanamo crossed on a sill at the basement stairway and when the current came together at this point it was of double force, burning the insulated wires and charring the sill for a distance of 3 or 4 feet.  This was not discovered until some time later and we would probably have had another bad fire, but as this firm is very careful and allow no trash to accumulate at such places where there is danger of fire, the damage was very light.  The wires crossing at this point is probably what caused the current to be so strong, and to avoid any such accidents in the future French & Co had the wires separated.

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