Fire Inside PSE&G Power Station Shuts Down Traffic On South Avenue
Equipment inside a power station caught fire Friday afternoon.
Cranford firefighters and mutual aid crews responded to a small fire inside a PSE&G power station at 225 South Ave. East.
According to Fire Chief Leonard Dolan, a piece of switching equipment caught fire inside the building just after 3 p.m. on July 13. Dolan said that during Hurricane Irene, the building flooded. As a result, the utility company was in the process of taking electrical circuits that were inside the building and relocating them outside, to the rear of the facility. It is believed that one of the circuits - which feeds downtown Cranford and the northeast section of town - caught fire during the switching process.
"We initially thought it was a bigger piece of equipment," Dolan said.
Dolan said no power outages were reported in town as a result of the fire.
When fire crews arrived at the location, workers from PSE&G had already extinguished the majority of the blaze using fire extinguishers within the building. Because the facility deals with "energized" electrical equipment, Dolan said the fire department has to wait for PSE&G to give them clearance to enter the building.
Arriving units found a small oil spill in the building associated with the fire, which was quickly taken care of. Mutual aid responded from neighboring municipalities and Dolan said this was primarily done because the building houses energized electrical equipment. Firefighters then ventilated the building in order to clear away the smoke so that utility crews could begin making repairs.
About an hour after they responded, crews from the Cranford Fire Department began clearing the scene and the barriers blocking traffic at South Avenue and Chestnut Street were removed.