Equipment Failure Blamed for Outage

A power outage that left about 1,600 Department of Water and Power customers without electricity for two hours Saturday night was caused by a ruptured transformer, an official said Sunday.

The transformer, which changes the electricity flow at a distribution center to a level that is appropriate for household use, probably broke because of "wear and tear," said Debra Sass, a department spokeswoman.

The rupture caused a fire about 8:40 p.m. at the center, located at 4965 Vanalden Ave., but more than 30 firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze. Power was restored about 10:30 p.m., Sass said.

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