Fire in San Bernardino knocks out power to more than 19,000 residents

Fire at substation knocks out power to 16,000 residents of San Bernardino and 3,000 in Highland

A fire at an electrical substation in San Bernardino knocked out power to more than 19,000 people Monday afternoon, officials said.

Residents of Highland and the city of San Bernardino began reporting power outages about 2:15 p.m., Southern California Edison spokesman Robert Villegas said.

Crews are working to route power to other nearby substations, so some of the 19,219 customers without electricity may see service come back quickly. Those who live near the substation will have to wait longer, Villegas said.

Officials do not have a time estimate for when power will be restored to all residents.

Southern California Edison won't know the cause of the fire until firefighters have left the scene and their crews can inspect the substation, Villegas said. 

"Obviously, safety is the primary consideration both for the fire crews and our crews on the ground," Villegas said.

The San Bernardino City Fire Department could not be reached for comment.

Twenty-seven buildings in the San Bernardino City Unified School District lost power, according to emergency operations staff. Some lost phone and Internet service.

"Thankfully ... schools are on winter break and the impact is minimal," staff wrote in a statement. 

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