Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Recalled solar panels still being replaced in EDH

DSC_3015e

THE RESIDENCE at 2065 Larkstone Place in El Dorado Hills was damaged after a solar panel caused a fire on the roof. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

By
From page A1 | January 13, 2014 |

July 9, 2013 had been a relatively quiet day for Alicia Barranco. She had recently been released from the hospital and was recovering at home. She smelled smoke and thought it might be toast or a coffee pot burning. She went back to bed after being unable to find the source of the smell.

But then a neighbor called. Aaron Barranco, who was working at the Mercedes dealership in El Dorado Hills, said it was “one of the scariest calls” he and his wife ever received. The neighbor informed Alicia that the roof of 2065 Larkstone Place, Aaron and Alicia Barranco’s home, was on fire.

Being only three miles from home, Aaron was able to get there from work quickly, arriving the same time as the fire department. The roof was smoking and smoldering, he said, and he “thought the home was almost lost.” But, the fire was put out, and there was only some smoke and water damage. Barranco said they were “very lucky.” There were no injuries to Alicia or their four cats and four dogs.

The cause of the fire was determined to be the home’s integrated solar panels. The panels were built into the roof, rather than raised off the roof, with no space between the panels and roof itself. Ironically, Barranco said, they were repaired a month before. The repairs were brought about by a 2011 recall from the manufacturer and homemaker, Solar Applied and Centex Homes, respectively. The Barrancos were told that after the repairs, they could turn their solar panels on again.

But with no space for air to circulate and cool down the panels, there was still a risk of fire.

Alexis Moore, another homeowner in the Blackstone development the Barrancos live in, spearheaded the fight for Pulte Homes — taking over after buying Centex, which had declared bankruptcy — to fix the panels of 250 residences.

“Many of our area residents were widows, single mothers and devastated because the minimum cost was $7,500 to repair the existing tiles with the same dangerous integrated type or design, so having the builder do their part and install the units that sit above the roof and are safe and not a fire hazard is very important,” she said.

Moore, a former firefighter, current real estate broker and third-year law student, contacted the Contractors State Licensing Board and enlisted Jacob Gabrie and his Blackstone Realty Group to provide “the postage paid self-addressed envelopes to Blackstone residents so that all that they had to do was sign their name and mail in their complaint to the contractor state licensing board,” she said. “The majority of the Blackstone residents had no idea what to do and didn’t know where to start in regards to filing the state contractors board complaint so rather than me sit with each and every homeowner — some seniors without computers, etc. — Jacob solved the problem by covering all of the costs associated with printing, postage and delivery and helped me get the job done.”

In 2013, Pulte conceded, despite a lack of an injunction or court order, and voluntarily began assisting in switching out the integrated units for traditional elevated solar panels.

The process is still ongoing, Moore said, and not all residents are aware of the danger of their solar panels. Moore gave advice to both Blackstone homeowners and anyone with a residence that has integrated solar panels: “Some steps you can take today to be sure your solar roof tiles are not part of the solar roof tile recall: Contact your homebuilder in writing to determine the brand of your solar roof tiles; and contact a licensed roofing contractor and solar contractor, ask for an inspection of your roof tiles to determine their make and manufacturer.”

If the panels are part of a recall, “Turn off your solar system immediately,” Moore said. “Contact your homebuilder in writing and file a complaint with the CA Contractors State Licensing Board immediately so that they will open an investigation and pressure the homebuilder to make the repairs rather than ignore. You and your family’s lives could depend upon it.”

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or cmayer@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

 
El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

.

Sports

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4