Fire causes approximately 2,100 to lose power early Saturday morning
Published: Sunday, August 29, 2010
Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2010 22:08
The Mileground Motel, NAPA Auto & Truck Parts and Hairspray Salon on Mileground Road caught fire early Saturday morning, causing power outages in downtown Morgantown and the Mileground.
The fire began at approximately 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Mileground Road closed at the time of the fire and remained closed until approximately 10 a.m., said Michael Wolfe, deputy director of the Monongalia County Office of Emergency Management, in a press release.
Multiple Monongalia County Fire departments and other county fire departments responded to the fire, Wolfe said in the release.
Approximately 20 people were evacuated from the hotel and taken to the River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross for shelter. No injuries were reported, Wolfe said in the release.
The fire overheated some of Allegheny Power's transformers, causing power outages for approximately 2,100 people in Morgantown, said Jeff Straight, company spokesman.
Power was restored to about 800 of those customers within 45 minutes, he added.
"We had to wait until the emergency personnel were finished with their job before we could deal with the remainder of the customers," Straight said.
Most customers' power was restored by 9 a.m. Saturday, he added.
High Street residents had to wait until approximately 11 a.m. for fully restored power, and all bars on the street were evacuated.
"I was really worried," said Kyle McAuley, a sophomore criminology major and resident of North High Street. "One second the power was on, and then it was off."
Boreman Hall and other residence halls relied on its generators for power until it was restored, said Jarrett Friend, night manager of Boreman.
Allegheny Power follows a priority system when reconnecting customers, according to its website.
It restores power to critical areas such as hospitals, emergency services, communication facilities, and water and sewage facilities first, followed by the largest blocks of customers available with each repair.
Allegheny also advises customers without power to unplug appliances, such as computers and refrigerators, as it may overload electric lines when the power is restored, causing a second interruption.