Damaged insulator to blame for fire and power cut

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A damaged insulator caused a utility pole to catch fire and collapse, leaving around 400 homes without power in a Northumberland village.

The incident happened yesterday in Embleton and one villager said that the wires had been sparking in the morning before an explosion at just after midday, causing the pole to set alight and subsequently split in two.

Picture by Andy Cowan

Picture by Andy Cowan

The fault was reported at 12.18pm and Northern Powergrid worked throughout the day to fix the problem and restore power to the area.

Some residents were back up and running by 3.35pm, while others had to wait until after 7.30pm, with generators required in some areas.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service were also called to the incident.

Today, a Northern Powergrid spokeswoman said: “We restored power to 225 customer at 3.35pm by switching them to another part of the network.

Fire ate through the pole, prior to the collapse. Picture by Andy Cowan

Fire ate through the pole, prior to the collapse. Picture by Andy Cowan

“A further 44 customers were restored at 5.26pm by a generator and the final 129 was connected to a generator at 7.35pm. In total, 398 customers were affected.

“The pole has been replaced and we are switching the network and disconnecting generators returning our customers to their usual source of supply.

“Initial investigations indicate the fire was caused by a damaged insulator. We would like to reassure customers that incidents like this are rare.”