ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU) - It was a close call for two Contra Costa County firefighters who got an electrical shock when responding to a house fire in the East Bay. The homeowners or renters could face criminal charges because of those injuries.
When you look at outside of the house on Blythe Drive, the damage doesn't look too bad. The front window has already been boarded up and there's soot around the door frame. However, the inside of the house is burned down to the frames.
The fire started around 11 p.m. Sunday. The four adults and four kids who rented the home all got out safely.
But two firefighters inside suffered an electrical shock.
The firefighters disconnected the utilities when they arrived, which is common procedure. But they didn't know that the home had an illegal electrical bypass system set up, designed to bypass the PG&E meter.
Two firefighters who were standing in water from the fire fight, got a jolting shock when they came in contact with that unprotected electrical system.
Contra Costa County firefighters say they are considering recommending criminal charges in this case.
Right now it's not clear whether it was the homeowners or the tenants who set up that illegal electrical bypass.
The two injured firefighters were treated at the scene, and are now OK. But the fire captain says the situation could have been much worse.
The official cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but firefighters believe it may have started with an appliance in the kitchen.