LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - A transformer explodes in Cape Coral, damaging several cars parked below. And, it's the second time this week. It happened behind Maria's Restaurant on Southeast 46th
Lane. The falling hot oil and fire melted paint and anything else it hit.
"This was a brand new paint job," Michelle Tedesco said, scanning a red Jeep with blistered paint.
Tedesco's daughter's car was parked outside Maria's Sunday night when the transformer above exploded.
"I'm horrified," Tedesco said. "That's boiling oil that spilled all over the car and
melted it and totally burnt everything to a crisp. That could be a human."
LCEC replaced the equipment. But, Thursday night, it happened again. "This whole thing was one big fireball," Maria's Owner Kristopher Bailey said.
For some employees, bad luck struck twice. "One of our employees had his car totaled on Mother's Day," Bailey said. "And now, his rental car is again totaled from the same disaster."
Friday, Tedesco was back at the repair shop with a second car. And, Maria's owner says, business suffered, too.
"We are somewhere now, having happened twice, at between $5-10,000 in lost revenue," Bailey said.
But now, some are upset, saying LCEC isn't paying the full amount in damages. "$6,200 in damage right there and they want to give us $4,190," Tedesco said.
LCEC Spokesperson Karen Ryan says the decision isn't theirs and it's up to their insurance company.
"We are investigating the situation," Ryan said. "We are going to do a root cause analysis and determine what the cause is and put something in place to prevent it from happening in the future. We will work with our insurance provider and they will send an independent claim adjuster out and they will determine a settlement and make things right."
For now, LCEC is advising customers to contact their own insurance companies to negotiate with theirs. "Why should we?," Tedesco said. "It's their fault 100 percent. They should take care of it. When it happened a second time, I said there is no way they are getting away with this. I am definitely going to push this to the limit and they are going to do the right thing by us."
LCEC is still investigating what caused both explosions. The owner of Maria's tells WINK News that LCEC plans to pay him back for any profits lost.