Power Restored After Fire; AEP Still Looking For Cause

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File photo(Photo: AEP)
File photo(Photo: AEP)

American Electric Power workers are still working to find out what led to the fire in an underground vault that caused at least three underground explosions that sent manhole covers flying into the air and into at least one nearby business.

AEP spokeswoman Teri Flora says they’re exploring an interesting theory: The underground vault that caught fire may have been exposed to road salt after a nearby water main break.

“That’s just one thing that we’re looking at: to see how the amount of salt water that was used that got into our vaults that we did clear out may have impacted this equipment.”

Flora says electricity was restored to nearby businesses around 12:40 pm.

AEP hoped to have power back on by late morning, but Flora says equipment had to be shut back down when it started smoking.

The fire and subsequent outages forced several local businesses to close for the day, including AEP’s corporate headquarters.