Thousands of people were left without power after a fire at a Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E) substation in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday, July 19, according to MG&E.
This video shows firefighters responding to the active blaze as dark plumes of smoke billow from the fire, at 722 East Main Street, which MG&E said was possibly sparked by a “mechanical issue.”
About 11,600 people were left without power around 9 am on Friday, MG&E said. The number of people affected dropped to about 5,600 around 11.30 am, according to MG&E.
MG&E said it needed to shut off power for a “large number of customers” in order to put out the fire. A “damage assessment” of the MG&E substation and equipment was underway and there was no estimate of when power would be fully restored, an MG&E spokesman said at a press conference.
Citing witnesses, local media said City Hall “momentarily lost power” and the Capitol building lost power and was evacuated.
A second substation nearby caught fire shortly after the first, but it did “not appear to have affected” MG&E equipment, the utility company said.
The fire department said the fires were extinguished and there were no injuries.
MG&E also said it does not believe the fires were related to high temperatures in Madison, which was under an excessive heat warning with highs reaching the mid 90s. Credit: Wisconsin Family Action via Storyful