FREMONT -- In 15 minutes, you could ... accidentally stir up a lot of chaos in a sleepy neighborhood.

An advertising banner touting Geico insurance fell from a plane towing it Monday afternoon and subsequently blanketed a home, struck a set of power lines and damaged a gazebo in the city's Centerville neighborhood, police said.

At 4:36 p.m., a resident on Castanos Street called to report that a massive banner had fallen from the sky and landed on a neighbor's home on Jacinto Drive, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.

Arriving police and fire crews found a 45-foot-by-90-foot banner covering the house and also laying across a set of PG&E power lines.

 A Geico advertising banner fell from a plane towing it and blanketed a home, struck a set of power lines and damaged a gazebo in Fremont on Monday.
A Geico advertising banner fell from a plane towing it and blanketed a home, struck a set of power lines and damaged a gazebo in Fremont on Monday. ( Fremont Fire Department )

Firefighters contacted PG&E, whose workers arrived shortly after, spokeswoman Diane Hendry. The workers climbed the affected power pole and cut off the power so firefighters could pull the banner off the home.

No one was injured, but the banner damaged a gazebo in the backyard of the home, Bosques said.

It was not immediately known what type of insurance the homeowner has.

Eventually, officers contacted the Hayward Air Traffic Control Center and employees there told police they were aware of the incident and had been contacted by the pilot.

Shortly after, the pilot went to the home and told police that he had used a new rope to secure the banner, but it had failed.


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The pilot collected the sign and apologized for the trouble, Bosques said.

The pilot was not cited for the incident.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.