Was Dangerous Wire Mistaken for Something Else?

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CLEVELAND -- Police are investigating after a 12-year-old Cleveland girl was rushed to the hospital after she touched a downed power line Thursday afternoon.

Gasia Thomas remains in critical condition at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

"I was on 130th coming from a friend's house and I just seen this lady in a panic, talking about her daughter needs help and just call the police," said Amir Mazouk, of Cleveland.

Police say Thomas touched a live wire on East 130th Street and Iroquois Avenue just after 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Mazouk called 911 when Thomas' heart stopped beating.

"I'm just glad I was in the right place at the right time.  I'm praying for her family," added Mazouk.

According to neighbor Nicole Hart, the wire came down Monday night and started a fire on the power pole.

"Immediately, I called 911. I was on hold, because I know it was very busy out there that day for the departments, then finally when I got through, they said OK, I'll send someone out," said Hart.

But Hart says no one ever did.  Four days later, Thomas was hurt. 

"The kids were playing out here, more so than her just, 'I'm gonna touch this,' and I think that's what it was.  If it was in the grass, you wouldn't be able to see it," said Hart.

Cleveland Police are investigating whether or not two separate calls involving downed wires within the same area are connected.

According to the city, they got a call Thursday morning about a suspicious wire in the area.  They notified FirstEnergy and Cleveland police went check it out.

Apparently an officer reported back that it was a telephone wire, not an electrical wire, so nothing was done.

Now an investigation is underway to determine if it was the same wire Thomas touched.

Meantime, Mayor Frank Jackson is holding FirstEnergy accountable for hundreds of potentially hazardous downed wires.

The Mayor said he required First Energy to establish a plan to asses the reported locations as soon as possible.

And in light of what happened, the city is asking that families refrain from trick-or-treating in the interest of safety.

FirstEnergy has been giving the city hourly updates regarding their progress and will have a full review done on Friday.

Right now, they are working to address around 900 remaining reports of downed wires and have about 269 hazard teams out responding to the reports.

In the meantime, FirstEnergy released a statement saying, "The accident that occurred in Cleveland yesterday afternoon was terrible and tragic.  Our prayers continue for the young girl's recovery and for strength for her families and friends during this difficult time."  

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