Centennial breaker box explosion caught on camera; owners share cautionary tale

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A Centennial family’s meter and breaker box burst into flames, displacing them for days.

Now, they want the community to hear their cautionary tale and watch the shocking footage capturing the explosion.

On Aug. 10, the Oliva family received text messages and videos from their neighbors in the Polo Run community, saying their home was sparking.

“It was described as the Fourth of July, basically,” homeowner Kevin Oliva said.

The Olivas were in Utah visiting family when the breaker exploded. They did the only thing they could and called insurance as firefighters broke in through the garage to contain the scene.

“It got so hot that, if you look at the cover, you can see the metal was starting to melt,” Oliva said.

The Olivas say it was too late for them to find out what exactly caused the breaker to burst.

“It could be the age of the house, how brittle the insulation was. It could have been caused by lightning and or the ground shifting,” Oliva said.

However, the commotion caused Olivas’ neighbor to call his electrician. His neighbor found out his electric wiring was melting inside of his breaker.

“This is something silent that you will probably never hear,” Oliva said. “Have your meters checked, your panel, if you don’t want this disturbance.”

The Olivas were unable to return to their home for four days after the explosion.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to Xcel Energy to ask what viewers can take away from the Olivas’ story and how often breakers and meters should be checked.

A media representative with Xcel tells the Problem Solvers they too are shocked by the situation and are looking into it.

The representative does tell FOX31 that Xcel is responsible for your energy lines up to the meter. Anything on the back end is the homeowner’s responsibility, including electricity going from the box to your home.

Nicole Fierro wrote this report.

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