Substation fires lead to power blackout for 12,000 in Wisconsin

July 20 (UPI) — Fire at a pair of electricity substations in Wisconsin’s capital Friday cut power to thousands of residents in the midst of a heat wave, officials said.

The first fire began at a substation near the Blount generating plant, Madison Gas and Electric spokesman Steve Schultz said. A mechanical issue is believed to have been the cause. The second fire started near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, but its cause is unknown. Both fires were contained.

Utility officials said the fires cut power to about 12,000 customers — on what forecasters said could be the hottest day of the year. Temperatures were forecast in the 90s, as a heat wave moves into the Midwest and Northeast this weekend.

“MGE’s electric distribution system was intact at the time of the fire,” the utility said. “In order to put out the fire safely, MGE needed to shut down power to a large number of customers.”

The utility said in a tweet there’s no indication either fire was caused by excessive use amid the hot weather.

No injuries were reported.


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