Thousands Lose Power in NJ Substation Fire

Mineral oil in a transformer caught fire, the utility said.

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012  |  Updated 9:29 PM EDT
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Thousands Lose Power in NJ Fire

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About 10,000 customers lost power in New Jersey's Middlesex County on Tuesday after a fire erupted at a power substation.

PSE&G said there were no injuries; the station on Pierson Avenue in Edison, N.J., was not staffed at the time.

The utility said the fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. and power was fully restored to all customers by 8:30 p.m.

The transformer failure was caused when a non-toxic mineral oil caught fire, PSE&G said.

Larry Mraz, who works nearby, said he heard a pop and his power went out. He and coworkers went outside to see the fire.

"It seemed to subside, and then repeatedly, it seems to explode again -- more flames, more smoke, subsides, and then pops again," he told NBC New York. "It's a pretty nasty black plume of smoke."

The substation is in an area near several homes and businesses.

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