Balloon left at cemetery cuts power to nearly 1,400, KUA says

KUA offers tips on handling metallic balloons

(Photo courtesy of KUA)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A balloon left at a grave in a cemetery knocked out power to nearly 1,400 Kissimmee homes and businesses Thursday afternoon, the Kissimmee Utility Authority said.

The balloon broke free from a flower arrangement left at a grave in Osceola Memory Gardens on Old Boggy Creek Road and made contact with nearby power lines, which cut power to 1,354 customers, the KUA said. After contact with the power lines, the balloon caught fire and fell to the ground inside the Rose Hill Cemetery, and started a small ground fire.

KUA crews extinguished the fire before it could further damage the property.

The outage began around 12:30 p.m., according to the KUA, and all service was restored 20 minutes later.

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KUA offered safety rules for those remembering loved ones, celebrating birthdays or other special occasions with metallic balloons.

  • Secure a helium-filled balloon with a weight heavy enough to prevent it from drifting away.
  • Keep metallic balloons indoors and never release them outside.
  • Never attach metallic streamers to any balloon, whether it’s latex or metallic.
  • Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon, or any foreign object, tangled in power lines. Instead, call KUA at 407-933-9898 to report the problem.

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