Dog dies after contact with downed power line

- A man just lost his best friend, his dog, and says Duke Energy could have prevented the death.

Kiba was a 4 year-old Husky who was killed over the weekend when he came in contact with a downed power line.

“I  am devastated,” said his owner Sanford Margolis. “I can’t sleep very good. I loved him with all my heart and I’m not afraid to show it.”

Margolis says  Kiba snuck out for a jaunt around the neighborhood Friday night. He and others printed flyers, and scoured the area. But no Kiba . Saturday afternoon, Margolis got a phone call that Kiba was found dead in the backyard of a home a few houses down on Grove Park Avenue North in the Lealman area of St. Petersburg.

“I just lost control when I heard about it,” said Margolis. “All  I could do is sit there and cry.”

Margolis say his dog died needlessly. He says neighbors knew about the line and were worried that it was incredibly dangerous. One person in the area shot a cell phone video showing the line sparking and bursting into flames.

Luke Baranoski said he tried to get Duke Energy to do something about it quickly.

“It was Thursday, I called ‘em, then Friday, I called ‘em, then my room mate called ‘em Saturday,” he said.

But Margolis says Kiba found the line before Duke got to fixing it.

“Anybody’s kid or anybody’s animal that went back there would be dead,” he said.

Late Sunday, Duke Energy released a written statement. In part, it reads: “Our deepest sympathies for their loss. We know that pets can be part of the family. Everyone should consider all downed power lines and electrical wires as energized or live, as well as anything in contact with these lines.”

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