Local News

Crews Close To Restoring Power In Parts Of Fayetteville

Posted May 19, 2004

— Crews have completed restoration work in downtown Fayetteville after an underground transformer burst into flames overnight, causing power outages.

Crews cut the electricity after a transformer exploded and a second caught fire on Green Street, next to First Citizens Bank, just before midnight.

Green Street, between the Market House and Maiden Lane, was closed to traffic as crews worked to repair the transformers and thousands of feet of wiring.

Power has not been restored to the First Citizens bank building. The building's electrician must go through the building and do a bit of rewiring before they can switch the power back on there. They hope to have it restored by Wednesday night.

Officials said the transformer fire shot up from underground -- its force blew a manhole cover into the air.

"It came in as a report of a bomb going off in a mailbox right there on Green Street," said Steve Harrell of the Fayetteville Fire Department.

It was not a bomb, but a burning transformer in an underground vault in front of the Market House. The intense heat ignited another transformer nearby.

"There's a lot of damage to the vault itself. There's a lot of wires that will have to be repulled," Harrell said. Some of the piping is very old and it will take some time before it is up and running again."

"It could have been a very serious situation. Fortunately, the only casualty, maybe, was some of the trees along the street," said Carolyn Hinson of the

Fayetteville Public Works Commission

.

Last year on Memorial Day weekend, an aging tranformer caught fire on the other side of the Market House.

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