SOMERTON, Ariz. – A series of fires kept firefighters busy earlier today after a wire came down from a power line leaving about 5,000 Arizona Public Service (APS) customers without power for hours. Fire crews say the wire that came down was live and caused about six fires in the area, burning two sheds, a fence, and some brush. So far APS is calling the incident a technical malfunction but they are still trying to find out what exactly caused the wire to come down.
Daniel Enriquez was working at a convenient store just yards away from where it all happened. He says electricity wires at the corner of Cesar Chavez Ave. and Main St. started to light up causing havoc.
“Inside the store the lights started going up and down and I could hear a sound like lightning. Then we looked outside and saw lights on the cables, balls of fire significantly big.” said Enriquez.
He says when he saw flames he called 9-1-1.
“By like the sixth explosion the cable came down and it started the fire down there in the brush.” said Enriquez.
Firefighters say when they showed up the blaze had sporadically spread in area. Main St. was blocked off for about 3-blocks while fire crews worked to put the blaze out. Officials say about eight families were evacuated from their homes.
“Some of the fires that caught fire were because of the wires when they came down, they have power in them so there is some arcing going on and the grass in the area caught fire.” said Fire Captain Javier Hernandez who is with the Somerton Fire Department.
APS officials say they predict all power will be restored by 9 p.m. tonight.
No injuries were reported from this incident.