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Power restored after huge Los Angeles outage

Crews worked through the night to repair conductors, circuit breakers and transformers damaged in the blaze. The fire's cause is under investigation.
Crews worked through the night to repair conductors, circuit breakers and transformers damaged in the blaze. The fire's cause is under investigation.
Courtesy Luis Gomez

Electricity has been restored to tens of thousands of customers who lost service when a power station in suburban Los Angeles caught fire amid a blistering heat wave.

The LA Department of Water and Power said Sunday morning that repairs continue but the outage has ended.

Crews worked through the night to repair conductors, circuit breakers and transformers damaged in the blaze. The fire's cause is under investigation.

At its height, the outage Saturday evening affected 140,000 customers in the northeast San Fernando Valley. Cooling centers were opened for residents left without air conditioning.

The fire at the station in the Northridge/Reseda area involved equipment that carries high-voltage electricity and distributes it at lower voltages, the department said.

The department shut off power to the station as a precautionary move, and began restoring service once the flames were out.

The outage came as much of California baked in heat that broke records. A record that stood 131 years in Los Angeles was snapped when the temperature spiked at 98 degrees downtown.

When fire crews arrived, they found heavy flames and a towering column of thick black smoke. A vat of 60,000 gallons mineral oil used to cool electrical equipment was fully engulfed in flames.

It took 74 firefighters nearly two hours to put it out, according to a spokesperson. There were many safety concerns related to the high voltage station.

No one was injured.

Firefighters rescued people who were stranded in elevators, officials  said.

People reported losing power in neighborhoods including Porter Ranch, Winnetka, West Hills, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Granada Hills, North Hills, Reseda and Chatsworth.

This story has been updated.