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3 electrocuted in backyard of San Bernardino home

Electrical A man, woman and their grown son died Friday morning when they were electrocuted by power lines that had fallen in the backyard of their San Bernardino home, authorities said.

The father, mother and their 21-year old son were inspecting small fires in their backyard when the electrocution occurred, said San Bernardino city Fire Department Capt. Mike Bilheimer.

Two other family members, a 17-year old daughter and 10-year old son, were inside the home and were not injured, he said.

Investigators believe the fallen lines caused the fires, and that the family members made contact with the lines, Bilheimer said.

“Their injuries are electrical injuries,” Bilheimer said.

The family members names' had not yet been released, but Bilheimer said both parents were in their 40s.

The fire department received a report of electrocution at the home in the 5400 block of Acacia Avenue in north San Bernardino at about 5:46 a.m., he said. He described the home as a modest, single-level structure with a small backyard.

He said the power lines were about 10 feet from the rear of the home, and that the three victims appeared to have exited from a sliding glass door in the master bedroom. Firefighters found the family members lying in the grass, still in their bedclothes, Bilheimer said.

He said the two other children are in the care of other family members at this time.

High winds were reported in San Bernardino Thursday night and several power lines fell, Bilheimer said. Power was out in the neighborhood Thursday night.

Southern California Edison was on the scene and working to restore power. Investigators from the San Bernardino County Coroner's office were also at the house.


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Photo: Residents gather outside a home in San Bernardino, where three people were found dead in their backyard by electrocution. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (39)

How awful for the family.

Don't anyone DARE put any kind of 'racist' comment here. This is a 'major' tragedy whom no one could have foreseen. May they all rest in peace and my condolences to the surviving family. God for some reason had to call them home.

Oh, how sad! What a tragedy for a family to endure.

Small fires while a family searched for the cause. Seems the home needed weed abatement in their backyard.

That's so sad. I am really sorry for that family.

Holy Cow!

This is just so very tragic. Those poor kids, may they end up with loving caretakers. Hopefully someone they are already really close with.

my thoughts are with the family. this is shocking news

Uh, is so cal edison libel for this?

Very sad

That's really awful. They should have stayed indoors and looked for a cause from inside the house. But you can't second guess them. How would they have known the fire was caused due to a fallen wire?

bytheway77: Not necessarily! Those types of wires are black and hard to see even in daylight. The grass could have been 1" high and still caught fire. The wire would have been invisible even in a well tended lawn. Shame on you.

My condolences to the family. They must be devastated. May they find the strength to endure and heal as much as is possible in the face of such a horrible accident.

I wonder if the sliding door had become "hot" and they all touched it.

How sad. I'm confused about how all 3 of them touched the power line?

If there are small fires burning your back yard, you ARE going to go outside to try and put them out. Absolutely no way for them to know about the downed power lines. Shame on the person trolling/being a jerk with the 'weed abatement' comment. It doesn't take overgrowth for electrical lines to start a fire.

At night, how can you see a cause from inside? All you see are flames near your home. Sincere condolences to the family and friends.

First of all Tony, you can't tell others how to respond to an article. Freedom of speech still exists. Hopefully, most people will realize this has nothing to do with anything other than a tragedy taking place.

I still have to wonder how did all 3 got electrocuted?

Another thing, I don't think God chose to electrocute 3 people. Can you leave God out of this?

I wonder if while the first person was being electrocuted, the second person tried to help. In doing so, probably got electrocuted also. Same with the third. When trying to help someone who is being electrocuted, you should use a stick or non-conducting material to help. If you touch the victim yourself, the electricity will go to you and while being electrocuted, your muscles will not respond and you will not be able to let go.

This might lead to a greater push to put power lines underground. We've gotta update our infrastructure to accommodate 21st century needs. Fires are very scary especially in over-saturated residential neighborhoods. Just think what the story would have been if the fire had gone out-of-control in high winds? These three people gave their lives to save their neighbors even though they probably didn't realize it at the time.

I can't believe anyone would suggest the yard was overgrown- it doesn't take much height for grass to catch on fire, and the point is moot if they had bushes or shrubs. If the 911 call was made at 5:45, it must have happened before then- when it was probably too dark to see a downed power line.

So tragic.

So tragic. My heart breaks for the family.

Hmmm, looking for the cause of a fire in your backyard from inside the house. Yeah, no that doesn't work.

Don't broken power lines make an electrical buzzing sound? If you hear it, keep a clear distance away from it. The power line must have been livewire (i.e. moving) r all of them to get struck and killed together.

You don't go investigating the causes of fires, you report them....and you certainly should be able to see a fallen power line, it was dangling from somewhere.....

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