BEACHWOOD – After a transformer went up in flames on Birch Street early this morning, the fire took down a utility pole and wires, officials said.
Members from the Beachwood Fire Department responded to a fire reported on Birch near Beachwood Boulevard around 1:30 a.m. Firefighters found a transformer on fire with wires arcing and also burning.
First responders asked JCP&L to cut the power so the fire could be extinguished. However, JCP&L crews were not available and didn’t arrive for almost four hours. They were advised that the arcing wires and fire were burning through the pole and the collapse of the transformers was probable.
Due to the level of the incident, residents were asked to remain inside their homes in the event that more power lines came down and until a safe area was established.
Around 5:15 a.m., the top section of pole burned through and collapsed, bringing the transformers to the ground, on fire. JCP&L arrived shortly after the pole collapsed.
Firefighters built berms around the storm drains to prevent the transformer oil from entering the storm drains, and Berkeley Haz Mat and NJ DEP were advised of the incident.
Once the power was shut down, the fire in the roadway was extinguished. Beachwood Fire Department said there were no injuries reported as well as no homes were damaged from the fire.