Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 11:04 pm | Fair 71º

 
 
 
 

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Electrical Vault Explodes in Downtown Santa Barbara

Some businesses without power following early morning incident at Anacapa and Ortega streets

A firefighters inspects an underground electrical fire in downtown Santa Barbara Friday following an explosion and fire. Some downtown business were left without power following the incident.
A firefighters inspects an underground electrical fire in downtown Santa Barbara Friday following an explosion and fire. Some downtown business were left without power following the incident. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Some businesses in downtown Santa Barbara were without power Friday after a fire in an underground electrical vault.

The incident occurred shortly after 5 a.m. in a vault behind the city parking garage at Anacapa and Ortega streets, said Capt. Chris Auringer of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

Employees of a nearby store reported hearing three explosions prior to the fire, Auringer said.

When fire crews arrived, they found flames and smoke coming from the vault, but were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.

The explosions and fire dislodged the vault’s heavy metal-and-concrete cover, Auringer said, adding that the vault appeared to sustain major damage.

The backside of the Metro Four Theatre building was scorched, but was not otherwise damaged, Auringer said.

Southern California Edison Co. crews responded, and were able to restore power to some of the affected business.

The utility's online outage map indicated 49 customers were affected, and said that most should have power restored by 11 a.m.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

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