Transformers catch fire at FPL facility in West Miami-Dade

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Multiple transformers caught fire at the Florida Power and Light facility in West Miami-Dade, sending fierce flames and black smoke into the air, Tuesday afternoon.

7Skyforce HD captured heavy flames and a huge column of thick, black smoke coming from the FPL substation along Northwest 72nd Avenue, between 61st and 62nd streets.

Miami-Dade Police and Doral Police responded to the scene of the blaze shortly after officers heard a loud explosion, at around 4 p.m., as 20 Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews began battling the flames.

Authorities temporarily shut down traffic on Northwest 74th Street in both directions. At nearby Miami International Airport, officials said traffic was diverted at Runway 12.

Just before 5 p.m., crews began dousing the flames with a foam truck. “Fortunately, we were able to coordinate with Florida Power and Light and come up with a nice plan of attack and utilize a foam truck that comes from Miami International Airport and extinguish that fire,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.

FPL officials said, about 10,000 people initially lost power in the area surrounding the facility as a result of the fire.

A security company located nearby lost power. “Hot and humid. It’s not good for the equipment,” said Gene Brito.

Workers at an area store wrapped up their day by candlelight. Others just locked up and headed home.

By 5:40 p.m., fire officials said, the fire was contained and no danger was apparent. “Right now, there’s no present danger,” said Lay. “The fire has been contained.”

The substation was left charred, as well as a van parked next to it, but no injuries were reported.

At 6 p.m., officials said, the number of people without power was reduced to around 1,600. “We’re going to work around the clock until the last customer is restored,” said FPL spokesperson Marie Bertot.

 

About two hours later, officials confirmed power had been restored to all customers.

 

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