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Sparks cause explosion, flames near Burbank City Yard

Burbank firefighters put out small vegetation fires near the Burbank City Yard facility Wednesday afternoon, after an explosion shut down streets near Lake Street and Olive Avenue, officials said.

Burning leaves on the roof of a collision center on the 300 block of South Lake and other small, vegetation fires were doused in about 10 minutes, Capt. Peter Hendrickson said, adding that no substantial damage was reported to the site.

At about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, a short in an underground 69,000-volt line caused what officials think was an explosion in an underground vault and blew the cover off a manhole at Olive and Lake, Hendrickson said.

“This caused a guy wire that stabilizes two poles to become energized and melt violently,” Hendrickson said. “The wire melted and caused sparks, and vegetation caught fire.”


The wire also fell on other wires, causing more sparks and fires, Hendrickson said.

Although the fires were put out quickly, fire officials were on scene for about an hour, he said.

“Two vehicles that were traveling down Lake at the time of the short were also damaged by the molten metal,” Hendrickson said.

Initial reports indicated a wire had fallen on a car.


No injuries were reported and Burbank Police kept some streets closed until about 7 p.m.

The cause of the short remains under investigation, Hendrickson said.