Transformer catches fire and falls on two cars

Created: 06/17/2014 11:32 PM WHEC.com

The damage from the thunderstorms is evident across our area, and more than 8,000 customers are still without power tonight. The biggest concentration is in Gates after a transformer caught on fire and landed on top of two cars.

According to a witness, a transformer caught on fire near Elmgrove Road and Lyell Avenue and landed on top of two, parked cars that had people in them. Firefighters were able to get them out safely.

“We were just sitting in the restaurant having ice cream, and all of the sudden, it started raining and hailing so hard it started coming underneath the door. Then we heard a loud crack and saw a huge fire burst outside. There were two cars that were trapped under the power lines, and one guy was yelling because the lines were zapping over his head. A girl that volunteered at the fire department ran out there, and people were screaming come back, come back,” said Rachel Hargarther.

Vasile was driving on Elmgrove Avenue when the wires were coming down. He says he narrowly missed them.

“There was a big flash, and all of the power lines started to come down, so I quickly turned left to get in the parking lot. The power lines landed on my windshield, but I was able to slide underneath them and get here. Thankfully, nothing happened to the van or me,” said Vasile.

Gates Fire Chief James Harrington gave a warning to everyone when driving in these dangerous conditions.

“If you are ever in a vehicle and power lines come down on top of it, stay in your vehicle. We will get you out of it. If you come out and make contact with the ground, you could be electrocuted,” said Harrington.

Harrington says the roads could be closed until tomorrow.

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