A power line transformer explosion caused both a downed power line and a small electrical pole fire that shut down a portion of Centennial Avenue. This area around 524-532 Centennial Ave. was closed between Cayuga Road and Wall Street, for over four hours.
No one was injured in the incident, but at least one Cranford senior citizen on his way home came dangerously close to the downed power line near the Ye Olde Rathskeller tavern's driveway entrance. Cranford police stopped the man and he walked back to a relative's house.
The small fire flickered at the top of the electrical pole for nearly two hours before being extinguished by a PSE&G employee around 6:30p.m. About an hour later the fire restarted, for uknown reasons. "We're not sure what caused the fire, but power should be on within the hour," said PSE&G spokesman John Masi around 8p.m. Tuesday night.
He said from 500 to 600 Cranford homes were without power. One resident complained of having power off for nearly 45 minutes, the first go around.
Cranford Fire fighters first responded to the electrical fire around 4:10 p.m. "Most likely it was a transformer explosion," said Fire Capt. William Merwede. The street opened around 7p.m. before being closed again when the fire restarted.
According to Masi, the downed wire was probably caused by the weather and most likely wasn't related to super storm Sandy, but today's snowfall. "It could've been a spark, water, I don't know," said Masi. He said the utility was awating a full report from crews once the power line was repaired.