Fire Heavily Damages Electric Substation

Some 16,000 customers are still without power Monday afternoon following a fire at a neighborhood substation. The five a-m explosion and blaze caused an initial loss of power to more than 32,000 customers. AEP doesn’t expect complete restoration of service until Tuesday.

Businesses along Morse Road remained dark Monday afternoon after an early morning fire at Substation Nine on Karl Road. The explosions that preceded the blaze caught Shirley Gattordam’s attention a half-block away.

“Well there was loud booms like it could have been thunder or something like that. And my husband went out to look around and all the smoke and fire was up in the air and the smoke was blowing around. And all of our electric went pzzzt!’”

Two of the substation’s three transformers were destroyed. A mobile transformer on a flat bed trailer arrived around one o’clock. But according to the power company, repairs may not be complete until Tuesday. That’s bad news for dozens of banks, department stores, gas stations and restaurants along Morse Road that remained closed due to the outage. Grandad’s Pizza remained open, but manager Patrick Cardi says business has been slow.

“We haven’t done any business. One guy came in and ordered some subs over the counter and that’s it. We have a stone oven. We can’t roll any pizza dough. The middle oven runs off a pilot light. It’s gas,” says Cardi.

A MacDonald’s nearby was completely shut down. Manager David Kendricks says besides the loss of customers, the restaurant was loosing food.

“The bad thing about it is we have food and product in here that will go to waste. No power, no electricity, no refrigeration,” says Kendricks.

Switching has restored power to some localities. The affected area is bounded by Route 161, Cooke Road, Westerville Road and High Street. Sam Hendren, WOSU News.

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