Transformer Fire at Westside Elementary

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Northside Companies run transformer fire at Westside Elementary School.

Last night, E13 was dispatched for a transformer fire at Westside Elementary School. We had previously run a call for wires arcing about an hour prior and returned this time to find AEP crews working at two different poles on each side of the school. Once we arrived at the same pole we had run prior, we realized that it the fire wasn’t near the pole we had run near the school, and in fact a ground transformer was burning right next to the school. E13 asked for additional companies to fill out the assignment and began putting attack lines, and a supply line in place for suppression. AEP crews stated that the unit was de-energized, but could not say that there was NO electricity in the unit. Therefore, like most electrical fires, we side on the error of safety and treated it as though it was energized until AEP could confirm that there wasn’t any power in the unit. E9, L13, M9, and BC2 arrived and we began cooling the unit which was burning pretty well. An 1 3/4″ handline was used to apply foam on the unit which did not have a lasting effect on the fire. A 2 1/2″ handline, which was pulled when E13 arrived, was then put into service along side the 1 3/4″ handline and the fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

Water from the suppression efforts followed the conduit into the building and flooded the cafeteria with about a 1/2″ of water. L2 was called in to assist the companies on scene to clean up the cafeteria.

The units cleared and AEP began the task of replacing the unit. Westside Elementary School will be closed for several days until the unit can be replaced.

Here are some external links for the story.

WSLS10 Story
WSLS has not uploaded the video of the incident. But from where the camera man was standing, I am sure he got some good footage. I will update the information when I get it.

WDBJ7 Story and Video

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