Dominion Restores Power after Transformer Fire

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

More than a thousand people from Churchville and Staunton have power restored in their homes as of Sunday night.

A transformer fire near Churchville left thousands of customers without power for more than five hours.

Dominion Substation Manager Steve Wilmer said other substations in the area are powering customers now.

Crews are trying to fix the broken circuits in the substation.

Vernon Thompson who lives near the substation said he was in the dark for a while.

He realized just when he drove past it on his way back home.

"It was really smoking then and we were out of power," Thompson said.

That's why he said he went to his in laws.

"I'm not gonna hang around a house with no power. I ate supper and watch football," Thompson said.

Ed Keenan didn't have anywhere to go to watch the game.

"What we saw was a blank TV screen," Keenan said.

That's why he decided to check out the broken transformer and cables.

"Came down to find out how much food is gonna spoil in the refrigerator," Keenan said.

The Churchville Fire Volunteer Department, Swoope Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Churchville Fire Department Lieutenant Matthew Vincent said he doesn't know how the fire started.

But he said when they arrived, they saw one transformer in flames and another burning.

According to Vincent they were able to save the second transformer.

However, the first one was completely destroyed.

Vincent said they had to wait for the power company to start putting out the fire because the transformer was still connected to power lines.

" We were unable to do anything as far as extinguishment with the amount of fire we had. We can't put water on it," Vincent said. " It can possibly pull the power towards us and cause a lot more damage to us and harm."

Vincent said he has never seen something like this before.

"It is a rare case for around here," Vincent said.

Thompson said they have lost power before.

"Animals got in there and knocked power out but it will be out for only half an hour,"

Wilmer said the company is setting up a mobile substation until it can get the one near Churchville up and running again.

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