NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A sparking transformer left more than 6,500 customers in North Berkshire with no power on Wednesday morning.
The power outage began at 9:22 a.m. when the device that acts like a circuit breaker failed, which then caused a chain reaction to the single, primary line, knocking out power all across North County, said David Graves, a spokesman for National Grid.
The malfunction caused by Pole 94 on Curran Highway knocked out power to 3,491 customers in North Adams, 1,404 in Cheshire, 708 in Williamstown and 868 in Adams, according to the National Grid website at the time of the outage.
The outage left a few people stuck in elevators at North Adams Regional Hospital and shut off traffic lights around area, including the busy intersection at the "old" Walmart.
One of the employees at K-M Motors at 1300 Curran Highway had a close up view of the mishap.
Jason, who preferred not to give his last name, was sitting at his desk at the auto dealer when he suddenly heard a loud zapping noise.
He asked himself, "What the heck was that?" and as he peered out the window, Jason saw the transformer across from the dealership in flames and called 911. It sparked away for another 15 minutes.
Two to three minutes after the flames faded, about 5,000 people in North County were without power, but the electricity was back on in less than an hour.
Graves said the power was restored by 10 a.m. to all customers.
Updated at 2 p.m.