Dundee flat hit by fire had illegal electric supply

Firefighters spent three hours tackling the blaze in Ellen Street.

A home which went up in flames had a “highly dangerous” illegal electricity connection installed.

Fire crews battled the Boxing Day blaze at an address in Ellen Street in the Hilltown for more than three hours, after it started in the kitchen.

Firefighters used one hose jet reel and four breathing apparatus sets to extinguish the fire, eventually bringing it under control by 1.30am after arriving around 10pm.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has confirmed that an illegal electricity supply was found by firefighters after they put the flames out.

Police said engineers from SSE made the force aware that the supply had been bypassed and would be making inquiries into the circumstances and the value of the electricity stolen.

Bypassing the electricity involves the supply being wired so it doesn’t register in the meter and the usage is therefore not recorded.

Samantha O’Connor, a spokeswoman for SSE, said: “Our engineers were called out to a property in Ellen Street following reports of a fire. The team isolated the power to the property and remained on site with the fire crews until satisfied that it was safe.

“I cannot stress strongly enough that tampering with any of our electrical equipment is highly dangerous and I would appeal to the public for their help in reporting any incidents or suspicion of incidents immediately to the police.”

The home owner told the Tele: “We don’t really know what happened. I just got to my bed.

“There’s no indication how it started, although they think it may have started at the washing machine. No one was injured. We are shaken up by it. It’s a big shock.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We can confirm that we are aware of the circumstances as recorded by SSE and will be making appropriate inquiries.”

While SSE is the electricity provider at the property, the supplier — the company which bills the customer — is unknown.

Once the supplier is identified by police, its staff will compile a report regarding the value of electricity illegally obtained and also costs incurred with regard to making the supply safe and any damage to meters or other electricity supply equipment.

That information will be passed on to Police Scotland.