Power pole fire results in outage

Posted: Sunday, June 13, 2004

About 250 people lost electricity in Kenai for about three hours Friday after a power pole caught fire at 6 p.m. at the corner of the Kenai Spur Highway and Airport Way.

According to HEA spokes-person Joe Gallagher, the affected pole was in front of Kenai Chrysler Center. An insulator on the a pole failed and heated up, which caused one of the power lines to fall across the neutral wire, knocking out power and catching the pole on fire, Gallagher said.

Kenai firefighters and police responded to the scene at 6:04 p.m. after receiving a report of the fire, said Kenai Fire Marshal James Baisden. Firefighters and police closed the intersection and rerouted traffic.

"We blocked it off because we were afraid the power line might come down," Baisden said. "... From our standpoint, we didn't want anybody to get electrocuted."

An HEA crew arrived on the scene, cut power to the pole, put out the fire with an extinguisher from a bucket lift and secured the line.

Gallagher said it took the HEA crew about three hours to make repairs. Baisden said the emergency responders left about 8:30 p.m.

No one was injured in the incident. Homes east of the intersection in the Lawton and Aliak drives area were affected by the outage. No traffic accident or other extraneous event were cited as the cause of the insulator malfunction.

"It's a piece of equipment that every once in a while fails, and that's what happened," Gallagher said.

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