Power mostly restored after squirrel makes contact with high voltage line in east end
Crews are shown at the scene of a hydro pole fire in the city's east on Thursday morning.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, May 23, 2019 7:54AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 23, 2019 12:42PM EDT
Thousands of residents in the city’s east end were without power for much of Thursday morning after a squirrel made contact with a high voltage wire, sparking a pole fire.
The incident happened on Dundas Street West near Broadview Avenue just before 8 a.m.
Witnesses at the scene told CP24 that they heard a small explosion after the squirrel made contact with a line that carried 13,800 volts of power.
That explosion then led to a fire that engulfed the power lines in the area and a hydro pole.
“I heard a really loud pop. It woke both my wife and myself up and we ran to the window and there were just so many colours coming through the window,” Aaron Lumley, who lives in an apartment in the area, told CP24. “We were watching the post as it was burning and there was just fire and sparks everywhere. It was really scary.”
At one point an estimated 3,800 customers were without power in the surrounding area but that number was reduced to 350 by late Thursday morning.
The power outage also disrupted service on all 10 of the city’s streetcar lines for much of the morning rush hour as it prevented the TTC from putting vehicles at its Leslie Barns yard into service.
Those issues, however, cleared at around 8:30 a.m.
TTC spokesperson Kadeem Griffiths previously told CP24 that buses and older streetcars were dispatched to supplement service during the disruption.
Toronto Hydro says that efforts are still underway to replace the charred hydro pole, a process that could take up to eight hours.