By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
While many people hoped to relax on the observed Independence Day holiday of July 5, a pair of electrical issues put a damper on festivities for a couple of thousand area residents.
Residents reported a downed power line at the intersection of Lakeville Rd. and Bay Pointe Dr. to the Oxford Fire Department at 5:52 p.m., according to Captain Benjamin Stapp.
“It ended up being a primary line that was down between two poles,” Stapp said. “There was a report of bystanders that had stopped to put out a small fire, so there was no fire when I got there.”
The area was blocked off with police tape and cones so DTE could handle the power line. Fire department personnel remained on scene in case anyone tried to approach the downed line.
A blown transformer at the Oxford Substation on East St. was reported to DTE, who informed the Fire Department of the incident later on July 5. Je’well Pearson, senior communications strategist for DTE, said power was restored the same day and that the transformer is being replaced, though the power company does not know what caused the issues.
“1,900 customers were impacted (by the incidents),” Pearson said.
According to the utility, downed power lines present a serious health hazard. Lines are not insulated the same way household wiring is, and contact with an uninsulated line can be deadly. DTE recommends keeping 20 feet away from a downed power line — roughly the length of an ambulance — and to report the downed line to them at 800-477-4747 and the local fire department as soon as possible.
“It could have really turned into a pretty serious situation if the people who had stopped to put the fire out had stomped on the actual power line,” Stapp said.