• Melbourne leaders pay woman $2,300 after dog electrocuted by light pole


    MELBOURNE, Fla. - Melbourne city leaders have agreed to pay a woman more than $2,000 after her dog was electrocuted by a light pole with a bare electrical wire.

    The owner said in January, her dog stepped into a puddle near the light on the corner of Highland Avenue and Eau Gallie Boulevard and died.

    “She was just full of life, she loved to go for walks,” said the dog’s owner, Linda Carmigiano.

    It was one of those walks to a Melbourne park when Carmigiano lost her silky terrier, Bella.

    Currently out of state, Carmigiano talked to WFTV via Skype.

    “When she stepped up on the curb, she screamed and seized and died instantly,” she said.

    Carmigiano called police and Florida Power and Light, who discovered the pole was electrified, so the city shut off the power.

    “I knew immediately she had been electrocuted because of how she reacted,” she said.

    An investigation by the city’s insurance company revealed a bare wire had electrified the light pole, and on a rainy day, the puddle Bella stepped in acted as a conductor.

    “It’s just awful,” Carmigiano said.

    After six months of pushing the city for answers, officials agreed to reimburse her $2,300 for the loss of her dog.

    No one at City Hall could speak to WFTV, but a spokesperson said in an email that it services 860 poles, and as soon as it’s aware of an outage, it's repaired.

    They also said after Bella’s death, all poles in the vicinity were checked.

    Carmigiano said she just wants the city to make sure something is done to avoid another tragedy.

    “So that losing Bella will not be in vain,” she said.

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