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Man burnt during copper theft

Updated: Sunday, November 24 2013, 10:07 PM EST


A man attempted to break into the power substation in East Liverpool and later caused 3,000 homes to be without power for more than six hours.

Police said they were called to the substation for a man on fire.

They said a man was severely burned when he tried stealing copper wire from the power substation on the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Franklin Street.

Neighbors Kaycie Quinby and Dylan Quinby said they saw it all.

"We looked out of our window and he had caught himself on fire doing something," said Kaycie Quinby.

She said their power flickered on and off three or four times before going out.

"It was around 12, I was sitting in my room and it looked like there was an explosion. There was a big white flash outside of my window," said Dylan Quinby.

Police said after further investigation the man was identified as Joseph Monteiro and he attempted to pull a large wire from under the fence on the north side of the substation by using a piece of plastic chain that he took from the front gate.

The wire touched the fence pole, causing it to arch, and it caught Monteiro on fire.

"I just yelled to my husband, I said ‘Oh my Godthere is something in there and they're on fire!’” said witness Sunshine Perry.

Police said all items that Monteiro left behind at the substation were gathered as evidence, including suspected narcotics.

He was then taken by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital due to his burn injuries.

Police said charges will be filed and the drugs have been sent for testing.

"And when the cops showed up they said they were glad that I saw him walking because he probably would have just collapsed and froze to death," said witness Benji Perry.

Police said this also disrupted nearby hospitals and nursing homes due to the power outage.

Power was restored around 5 a.m.

Man burnt during copper theft

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