A power company is investigating what caused a power issue in three Northampton street that led to firefighters being called out.
The issue happened in the Hunsbury Hill area on Sunday evening when a homeowner called 999 at about 6pm after the electricity went off and their television started smoking.
Houses were affected in Bow Court and Harcourt Way among others with Western Power Distribution admitting that appliances could well have been affected in several homes.
A spokesman said: "Because of cable damage it caused the neutral cable to people's houses to fault, and that resulted in equipment failing."
Problems with the neutral cable can damage appliances because it means electricity is denied an outlet in the usual way. The power company attended and electricity to homes in the area was turned off while the problem was resolved.
Meanwhile, Northamptonshire fire service was urging anyone who spotted signs of smoking appliances, sockets or light fittings to dial 999.
Western Power Distribution said they were awaiting the conclusions of an investigation, including whether a "third party" caused the damage to the cable. The spokesman said similar issues are often caused by digging.
Any compensation to homeowners will be decided by loss adjusters after the investigation is complete.