Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 8:56 am | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Downed Power Lines Set Fence Ablaze in Goleta, Cause Outages in Old Town Area

41 Edison customers will have extended service disruption as crews work to fix problems near Hollister and Kellogg avenues

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to Kellogg Avenue in Goleta on Saturday evening to deal with downed power lines that lit a fence on fire.
Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to Kellogg Avenue in Goleta on Saturday evening to deal with downed power lines that lit a fence on fire.  (Urban Hikers photo)

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to downed electrical wires and a fence on fire in Old Town Goleta on Saturday evening.

The live wires set a fence and bushes ablaze around 5:30 p.m. in the 5600 block of Hollister Avenue, near the Hampton Inn. For a while, the combination prevented firefighters from doing anything but watch the fire burn, witnesses told Noozhawk.

Southern California Edison crews arrived at the scene about two hours later to turn off power to the downed lines.

“We couldn’t do anything because live power lines and water don’t mix,” said fire Capt. David Sadecki, a department spokesman. 

“Firefighters kept it from spreading to anything farther than bushes and the fences.”

About 1,600 customers were initially without power, Edison spokesman David Song said.

There were some reports of a blown transformer in the area of Kellogg and Hollister avenues but it’s unclear what caused the downed power lines, he said.

The initial outage happened when the system sensed a problem, disconnected and tested the system. When the automatic mechanisms sensed an ongoing problem, the system “locked out” so something could have been in the way, perhaps a tree branch, Song said.

While 1,600 customers lost electricity around 5:20 p.m., power was restored to all but a few dozen customers by about 8 p.m. Song said there were 41 customers in the vicinity of Hollister and Kellogg avenues who were expected to be without power for an extended period as crews work to fix the problem.

“That’s usually what happens — the people who are further out can get power relayed other ways, but those closer to the immediate area affected, we can’t relay power and work on the actual problem safely,” he said.

“We don’t have an estimated restoration time because we had to assign a line crew. The first responding crews dealt with switching and rerouting power (to restore power to most customers).”

The Edison website itself was offline for maintenance Saturday night so the company’s Outage Map also could not be accessed.

Edison issued a reminder to stay away from downed power lines and to call 9-1-1 immediately if one is discovered.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Before Southern California Edison crews arrived to turn off power to the downed electrical lines, there was little that Santa Barbara County firefighters could do. “Live power lines and water don’t mix,” fire Capt. David Sadecki says. Edison crews responded to the scene two hours after the fire was reported. (Urban Hikers photo)
Before Southern California Edison crews arrived to turn off power to the downed electrical lines, there was little that Santa Barbara County firefighters could do. “Live power lines and water don’t mix,” fire Capt. David Sadecki says. Edison crews responded to the scene two hours after the fire was reported. (Urban Hikers photo)

Flames burn along a fence behind the Hampton Inn in Old Town Goleta on Saturday evening. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
Flames burn along a fence behind the Hampton Inn in Old Town Goleta on Saturday evening. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

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