Transformer fires leads to power outage in Santa Monica : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Transformer fires leads to power outage in Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- An electrical transformer blew up early Thursday morning, causing a fire in an underground vault that knocked out power to more than 52,000 city residents, officials said. A transformer on a pole blew off at 4:32 a.m., knocking down wires and sparking a fire at a nearby underground vault at Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue, said Chief Mike Curtis of the Santa Monica Fire Department.

The trouble caused an explosion that shattered windows at a nearby Norm's Restaurant and sent about six transformer lids flying into the air in nearby streets, Curtis said.

Two people suffered minor injuries from flying glass at the restaurant and were treated by paramedics and released at the scene, Curtis said.

The power outage was effecting about two-thirds of the 80,000 residents in the city, he said.

It was estimated that it would take about 24 hours to restore power.

"We're thinking that initially the rain had something to do with it," said Paul Klein, a spokesman for Southern California Edison.

An intense fire that was raging in one of the underground vaults was extinguished early Thursday morning and the vault was flooded with foam, Curtis said.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 26, 2000

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