It started out as a pretty normal Tuesday for Francois Charlotin Jr.
The Fall River-based electrician was called to inspect a home in the Boston suburb of Milton for a wiring issue. He arrived to see a simple-looking white house with some snow on the roof and plenty more melting on the lawn.
And then the day got interesting.
Cutting into a ceiling while tracing a wire away from a light switch, he discovered that it led into a plastic jug filled with liquid.
“I said, ‘This doesn’t look right,’’’ said Charlotin, 47. “It went from being an electrical issue to something else.’’
He told the homeowner, who told police. The Boston Police bomb unit determined that the liquid was an accelerant rigged to ignite once a light switch was flipped.
The same switch Charlotin was checking on.
The explosive device was disarmed. No one was hurt. Police are investigating who planted the device and no arrests have been made.
Milton Police did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.
Safety always comes first for electricians, Charlotin said, adding he was grateful he was experienced enough to know what to do.
“I’ve been an electrician for over 20 years so I’ve witnessed a lot of accidents,’’ he said. “What you do is you develop a skill set that you use to basically keep yourself alive.’’
Charlotin told Boston.com that as the week has gone on, he’s had time to reflect on the danger of the situation he was in.
“It was something that was totally unexpected and you kind of reflect on your training. You just take a deep breath, and say ‘Wow, this could have been a lot worse,’ and disaster was averted, and you try to carry on.’’
“Any time you have to work with electricity there’s a potential for something unexpected to happen so you have to be very careful. I’m glad that my training has helped me stay alive so far.
“Plenty of electricians have been out there trying to do the right thing, and something freakish occurs and… it’s just a big flash and that’s the last thing you see.
“The bottom line is you want to be able to wake up in the morning, go out and work, and come back. That’s all it is.’’
There is one thing that has rattled Charlotin. He’s still trying to deal with all the attention he’s been getting.
“Two days ago I was just a regular electrician,’’ he said “Now everyone’s calling me and asking me questions, so it’s different. It’s kind of unsettling, actually.’’