Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Junction box fire leaves hundreds of Fishergate householders and businesses without power
HEAVY rain is being blamed for an electrical cabling fault which sent flames shooting out of a York pavement and left hundreds of properties without power.
The blaze, which broke out in the early hours of Saturday in Fishergate, scorched the pavement and the exterior wall of Bonito’s hair salon.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said it was started by a fault in a junction box, probably caused by short-circuiting after heavy rain had fallen overnight.
Northern Powergrid said it was thought water may have got into the junction box.
A spokesman said power supplies were lost to 216 properties in streets including Grange Garth, Grange Street, New Walk Terrace, Fulford Road and Howard Street.
He said electricity was restored to all homes and businesses by 2.15pm after engineers were brought in to repair the damage.
He apologised for any inconvenience suffered by local residents and businesses.
Emma Rawson, owner of Bonitos, said she had lost business on her busiest day of the week, although she fortunately happened not to have a wedding party booked in on Saturday.
She said smoke had come in through a vent and covered the whole inside of the salon in a thin layer of soot.
However, she believed the whole building could have been set alight, had the junction box been situated outside one of the salon windows rather than the stone wall. “It could have been much worse.”
Liz Jackson, proprietor of the nearby Priory Guesthouse, said the business had been left without any electricity or landline telephone service, but guests had still been served hot breakfast using gas.
Fellow proprietor Russ Stephens, who was critical of the amount of time it took engineers to carry out the repairs, said he had been awoken by a whizzing and popping sound. “It sounded like a UFO had landed.” he said, adding he had got up to see orange flames shooting out of the pavement to a height of about two to three feet.
He said students living in flats near the fire were evacuated by police because of fears for their safety.