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It's not every day the street catches fire...but a downed power light can do that...

DAVID F. ASHTON - A fallen high voltage line sizzled and sparked on the pavement in Eastmoreland, after being knocked to the street by a falling tree limb; Westmoreland Fire Engine 20 arrived, and put out the burning street with a hose. A gust of wind through the Eastmoreland neighborhood took down a large tree limb south of the intersection of S.E. 32nd Avenue at Crystal Springs Drive, just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, July 10.

As the limb fell, it brought with it both TV cable and Portland General Electric lines, and the electric wires began sparking on the damp pavement.

Westmoreland Fire Station 20's Engine Company arrived within moments of notification, putting up safety exclusion tape around the danger area, and assessing nearby homes for damage.

A PGE Eagle crew member was soon there too, assessing the situation along with the firefighters. As the PGE worker prepared to sever the 12,000 volt "primary" wire atop a mid-block pole, the firefighters noticed that the sparking cable had ignited the asphalt pavement – and quickly put out the fire.

It took about two hours for the twenty affected customers nearby to have their power restored; the falling tree limb was removed from the street later that afternoon.

A reminder that if you see a power line down, it's probably still charged – don't touch it!


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