'Fireworks' blast as power goes off in Accrington
MORE than 170 homes were left without power when an electricity junction box exploded into flames.
Startled residents said it sounded like ‘fireworks going off’ when the electrical pillar box burst into flames in Balmoral Road, Accrington, at 3.25am on Saturday.
Firefighters were called out after they received reports of intense flames, explosions and flashes of light streaking into the sky.
Crews were able to get the fire under control using powder extinguishers, however it took several hours for engineers from Electricity North West to cut off power to the box and make the scene safe. Power was eventually restored at 5pm.
Watch manager Gary Hargreaves, from Accrington Fire Station, said: “When we attended the scene the fire was well alight so we set up a cordon and requested the presence of an electricity board engineer. Isolating the box took several hours during which time we remained on the scene while a danger remained to the public.”
One elderly resident, who asked not to be named said: “I have never heard sounds like it in all my life.
“It sounded like there was a war going on.
“When I got up the phone lines were dead and so was my personal alarm, which I keep near me.
“If my grandson hadn’t been here with me I wouldn’t have known what to do.”
Another resident said: “It woke me up straight away. It sounded like fireworks.
“There were huge purple streaks in the sky, and then I saw the flames.
“It was lucky it was in the middle of the night when nobody was walking past it.”
A spokeswoman for Electricity North West said the fire was caused by a fault.
She said: “The cables into the box had to be disconnected so our engineers had to dig through the pavement, find those cables and make them live again.
“We apologise for any inconvenience.”
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