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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Live Wire Electrocutes Kids in Back Yard

HOUSTON (CN) - Two little children are in intensive care with severe burns after a utility company failed to fix a dangling wire in their back yard, despite their father's complaint, the family claims in court.

Christopher and Sarah Zarsky sued CenterPoint Energy on behalf of their 3- and 5-year-old children, in Harris County Court.

Christopher Zarsky claims he told CenterPoint to fix the wire before it electrocuted his children and set them on fire, but it did nothing.

On Feb. 17, "a guy wire from a distribution pole in the Zarsky family's back yard came into contact with one of the energized power lines and/or energized components of the power lines and distribution pole that were located near the guy wire," the complaint states.

"The guy wire at issue was the lowest of the three guy wires attached from the utility pole to the guy anchor in the family's back yard. The guy wire had previously parted from the anchor, leaving it to swing loose at the bottom end.

"Importantly, Christopher Zarsky had previously notified CenterPoint about the loose guy wire in his back yard. Yet, despite knowing about the loose guy wire and its proximity to the energized power lines and components, and the grave danger that this hazard posed to anyone in the vicinity, CenterPoint failed to do anything to repair the loose guy wire or otherwise prevent it from contacting the energized power lines or components nearby.

"When the guy wire contacted the energized power lines and/or components, it electrocuted Z.Z. and O.Z. who were playing near their playscape below. [A third child] L.Z. was also in the back yard, but was fortunately out of range of the electric current.

"Z.Z. and O.Z. were both knocked unconscious by the electric blast and severely burned. When Christopher and Sarah Zarsky ran into their back yard, O.Z. was on fire and had stopped breathing.

"After putting the fire out on his daughter, which had spread to her head, Christopher performed CPR and eventually revived her. The Zarskys' neighbors also jumped over the fence to help the children.

"Once Christopher revived O.Z., he picked her up, Sarah picked up Z.Z., and they both ran to the front of the house to meet the ambulance that had been called by the neighbors.

"The children were then taken by Life Flight to Shriners Hospital in Galveston, where they both remain in the Intensive Care Unit in critical condition, with severe burn injuries that have already resulted in multiple skin grafting, and surgeries, including amputation," according to the complaint.

The Zarskys seek punitive damages for negligence and a temporary restraining order to stop CenterPoint from destroying any evidence related to the incident.

They are represented by Christopher Johns with the Buzbee Law Firm in Houston.

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