Transformer Explodes, Causes Fire in San Bernardino County

Disasters and AccidentsFiresTransportation DisastersAir Transportation DisastersSouthern California Edison CompanyWhitehaven

OAK HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) -- An electrical substation exploded and caused a fire early Saturday morning in San Bernardino County, prompting firefighters to use foam put out the flames.

Dispatchers received 911 calls just after 12:30 a.m. reporting several explosions and heavy smoke coming from the Lugo Substation at the intersection of Escondido Avenue and Whitehaven Street. Firefighters arrived to find a transformer and a large amount of mineral oil on fire.

The flaming transformer posed the risk that 15,000 gallons of mineral oil could spill out and also catch fire. Southern California Edison (SCE) used excavation equipment to prevent any mineral oil from spilling out of the facility, according to a news release issued by the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

No mineral oil escaped the area. SCE "de-energized" some of the power lines but there was no loss of power to nearby customers, according to the news release.

Firefighters used 200 gallons of foam normally used to put out aircraft fires to cool the transformer and put out the flames by about 7:10 a.m.

There were no reported evacuations and one SCE employee -- who was at the facility when the transformer exploded -- was not hurt, according to the news release.

SCE investigators are looking into what caused the blast.

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