Verizon Sets Fire To Your Home

What’s worse than Verizon not showing up for you appointment? Verizon techs showing up for you appointment, only to set fire to your home.

On Aug. 8, a Verizon tech lit fire to the home of one Patrick O’Malley after drilling into the electrical wiring of his house. The fire caused a small power outage in Needham, Mass., a suburb of Boston.

“I noticed my TV was flickering off and on, something was wrong,” said Thelma Papetti, who lives next door to the fire at 60 Pine Grove St. “Then the fire trucks came.”

Paul McNamara at Network World’s buzzblog investigated further:

Needham Deputy Fire Chief Al Deiulio tells me that the Verizon technician “was drilling on the outside of the house when he hit an electrical main” and started the fire.

“He’s lucky he’s not dead,” says Deiulio.

The damage to the house was minor, but it’ll be a few more days before they can return. Wherever the O’Malleys are, we’re sure they have a serious case of “Verizon Face.

No word on when their next appointment will be!

We’d like to take this moment to remind you to submit your “Verizon Face” to the Consumerist Flickr Pool. Tag your photo “Verizon Face.”

Verizon tech sets fire to home — accidentally [Networkworld]



Edit Your Comment

  1. Scazza says:

    “said Thelma Papetti, who lives next door to the fire at 60 Pine Grove St.”

    Anyone else read that the way I did? The fire lives at the 60 Pine Grove… I hope hes not one of those noisy neighbours, watching loud movies well into the wee hours…

  2. MalichiDemonos says:

    Nice : )
    GJ Verizon

  3. acambras says:

    Not to nitpick, but when you use a photo of a book of matches on this post, you seem to imply that the Verizon guy committed arson.

  4. Nakko says:

    @acambras: Yeah, a photoshop of the Verizon Guy wielding a flamethrower would have been way cooler. (And nobody would have taken it seriously.)

  5. Meg Marco says:

    @acambras: Matches are a place holder for the eventual Verizon Face submission. Feel free to track the O’Malleys down for us.

  6. acambras says:


    What’s the O’Malleys?

  7. m.ravian says:

    i heart misplaced modifiers. :)

  8. acambras says:


    Oops – I see the O’Malleys’ name in the article now.

    I do like Nakko’s idea — very Fahrenheit 451.

  9. tvh2k says:

    Funny because I was worried about the same thing when my Verizon FIOS tech was drilling randomly through our external walls. They take nearly 8 hours for an install, what’s another 10 minutes to check if there are electrical wires in the wall?

  10. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    “The Verizon guy was a wicked retahd and caught my house on fiyah, and I couldn’t even finish watching the sawks! The powah begins to flickah, and then bam…it’s all dawk.”

    Nice job drilling through the service entrance cable, dude. I nominate a Darwin award!

  11. mikeluisortega says:

    When I saw the pic of matches, I imagined the Verizon guy lighting up a cigarette after sliding out of his van taking a deep puff and then flicking the cigarette at the house, instantly starting it a flame.

  12. Well, atleast its not as bad as the Comcast tech who destroyed that one guy’s computer equipment by plugging in a cable line into a power line…

  13. racermd says:

    Good battery-operated power tools have interface areas (like a handle) that are insulated from the working parts (like a drill bit/chuck). That’s probably why the installer wasn’t crisp-ified when he hit power mains.

    As a former (and never again) cable tv installer, I was always aware of where power *might* be by examining power outlets near the installation point. As a result, I could adjust my drilling around possible power runs.

    Also, it’s generally safer to drill from the inside of the house outward than the other way around (for the outlet concerns mentioned above). The only general exception is when you have certain types of siding (but only to prevent damage to the siding) or when there are appliances or service boxes hanging on the side of the house.