Transformer explodes at Hoover Dam, prompting emergency response; fire quickly extinguished

A fire crew puts out flames at the Hoover Dam.
A fire brigade from the Bureau of Reclamation puts out flames after a transformer exploded at the Hoover Dam.
(U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)

An explosion at the Hoover Dam has prompted an emergency response from a Nevada fire crew, authorities said Tuesday morning.

“We have a crew on the way where we have a report of a fire,” said Lisa LaPlant, a spokesperson for Boulder City.

Boulder City officials said on Twitter that the city fire department was heading toward the incident about 10:30 a.m. after video circulated on social media showing an explosion near the dam.


They later said the fire was extinguished before crews arrived.

“The fire was extinguished before Boulder City Fire Department arrived on scene,” city officials said in a social media post.

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A video of the explosion shows a dark cloud of smoke and flames rising from the bottom of the dam. A voice can be heard saying: “My goodness, something has just blown up.”

A transformer caught fire at the dam about 10 a.m., the Bureau of Reclamation said on Twitter. No injuries were reported among visitors or employees, and the small blaze was extinguished by a fire brigade run by the bureau.

The agency is continuing to investigate the incident.

The Hoover Dam stores water from Lake Mead, and is the largest reservoir in the country by volume when full. The dam’s generators help power public and private utility companies across Nevada, Arizona and California.

This summer’s worsening drought has seen Lake Mead drop to significantly low water levels.