Lightning strike sparks transformer fire, kills power

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PHOENIX – An early morning lightning strike could be to blame for a blown transformer that has left a Phoenix neighborhood in the dark.

Paul Collier lives in the area of Holly Street and 20th Avenue. He said the lights of the fire truck woke him up early Monday morning.

“On my way out the door, I saw a big flash of light and [heard a] boom, and then the power went out,” Collier said. “I came around the corner and there were just flames billowing off the top of the pole. The fire department was driving around the block trying to figure out the best angle to get in the alley to put it out.

“Once I saw that, I realized it was going to be awhile,” he continued. “They [APS crews] have to put a new pole in, a new transformer, the whole nine, which apparently can take some time.”

Power outages also have been reported in the area of Greenway Road and Tatum Boulevard. It’s not known how many residents and businesses are affected.

According to APS, 3,000 customers are without power in the area from Jomax Road to Pinnacle Peak Road between 57th and 67th avenues. Another 900 customers are without power in the area Devonshire Avenue to Indian School Road between Seventh and 10th streets.

Information will be updated as it becomes available.