Transformer burns all day

August 06, 1997

An Allegheny Power transformer exploded Tuesday morning, touching off a fire that burned throughout the day, officials said.

Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Hopkins said firefighters were called to the substation at Wilson Boulevard and Oak Street at about 8:20 a.m.

At one point, officials from the power company tried to put out the fire with a dry chemical, but Hopkins said it kept re-igniting.

"The decision was made to let it burn," he said.

Hopkins said there were about 100 gallons of mineral oil that were burning.

"It's not a real fierce fire. It's just gradually burning itself out," he said.

Debbie Beck, a spokeswoman for Allegheny Power, said the fire started when a metering outfit failed. The device works just like a meter at a private home, she said.


Beck said the equipment was being energized for the first time.

Since the equipment is not yet linked to any customers, Beck said nobody lost power, although some power users noticed a brief electricity surge.

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