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Electric lines on a pole do not commony catch fire, but they did once this summer in Woodstock

DAVID F. ASHTON - This PGE Eagle crew member shows THE BEE the wires which were burned out on the pole by a power surge - wiring that he next quickly replaced. Perhaps the hottest summer day of the year to date was what caused the electricity to fail on Sunday, August 4 – it was 94 degrees in Inner Southeast Portland. And when the power failed, a small pole fire followed.

The location of the mishap was S.E. Ogden Street, between 41st and 42nd Avenues. Woodstock neighbors told THE BEE that their power dimmed, pulsed, and then blinked out entirely on Sunday, August 4, at 7:19 p.m., as the sun was setting.

One resident ventured outside and noticed fire at the electrical transformer up the wooden utility pole in front of their house. "And the grass was on fire below it. I was going to put it out with our yard hose, but the firefighters came and put it out before I could," she said.

Indeed, Woodstock Fire Station 25's Engine Company arrived within two minutes of being dispatched, and extinguished the fire below the beleaguered transformer, and put up yellow safety tape around the pole before leaving.

It wasn't much longer until a Portland General Electric "Eagle crew" was there, bucket-lifting up through the trees to evaluate the situation.

"The transformer is okay – it was the electrical feed lines that burned through! It will be a fairly simple task to replace them, and get their electricity back on," said a PGE crewmember. And so it turned out to be, as air conditioners whirred back to life shortly afterward.


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