Homeowner blames KCP&L for fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A homeowner blames Kansas City Power & Light for a fire that damaged his property. He claims the utility is failing to maintain it's service lines in the urban core.

It's not unusual to see vines, trees and other vegetation growing on power poles, and intertwined with electric lines in an older neighborhood like Sante Fe.

Joseph Jackson said that combination of vegetation and electricity caused a fire here last month, which burned his garage and left water damage to his structure, after firefighters put out the blaze.

He said none of this would have happened if the utility properly maintained its lines, keeping trees and other combustible material away from them.

"I would definitely say they are not spending enough," Jackson said. "The money, I know there’s not an infinite amount of money, but I know when they do the rate increase they say they're going to keep this clean, keep the lines clean. But where is the money going?"

Jackson called it a dangerous situation that threatens many others living in neighborhoods with a lot of woody growth.

Because he's renovating the property, he has builder's insurance on the house only, it doesn't cover the detached garage.

Jackson said KCPL has not helped him repair damages or prevent another fire from happening again.

A representative of KCPL said the company has received Jackson's claim and is conducting its own investigation.

The utility does have a tree trimming program to keep 24,000 miles of power lines clear of risks to its service.