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Underground fire causes downtown outage

YOUNGSTOWN — Fire in the hole!

A downtown power outage Thursday morning was caused by a fire in an underground vault, where Ohio Edison employees were working at Phelps and West Federal streets, the Youngstown Fire Department said.

Smoke could be seen coming out of an access hole to the vault.

Firefighters worked with Ohio Edison to turn off power to the area while they extinguished the flames involving several bundles of power lines, said batallion Chief Silverio Caggiano.

They responded at 9:45 a.m. and had the fire out and under control within about a half-hour, he said.

Ohio Edison said the outage affected 18 customers. The fire was contained to the vault.

Those customers were back in service by about 1 p.m., the company said.

The damaged line fed into a substation serving 366 customers, but Ohio Edison has equipment in place to isolate outages like this and reduce the overall customers impacted, an Ohio Edison spokesperson said.

news@tribtoday.com

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