Monday morning crash causes power outages

At 6:13 a.m. Monday Yamhill Communications (YCom) the County 911 service, received multiple reports of a traffic crash near Three Mile Lane and Highway 18. Callers reported a vehicle struck a power pole and lines were down across the highway.

Firefighters responded to the crash and transported one occupant to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. according to Scott Law, McMinnville Fire Department spokesman. The crash caused a brief power outage throughout McMinnville which triggered multiple other emergency calls for the department. Firefighters were dispatched to two commercial fire alarms in the downtown area, an electrical issue at Columbus Elementary School, and a detached garage fire which is believed to be tied to the power surge caused by the traffic crash, Law stated in a Tuesday afternoon press release.

The electrical problem at Columbus was isolated to an HVAC unit and because of the safety measures built into the school’s HVAC and alarm systems, there was no damage to the school or HVAC unit, according to Law. Firefighters verified the area was safe for employees to reenter the building and prepare for students to arrive on time. A short time later a passerby on Old Sheridan Road reported seeing smoke coming from a detached garage near Southeast Durham Lane. Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the garage and were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Fire investigators are looking into the possibility of a power surge causing an electrical short and staring the fire, according to Law,

The crash and resulting impacts on electrical supply serve as a reminder to plug electronic devices into a surge protector, and to unplug battery chargers and other appliances when not in use or when the battery is fully charged, and never overload a power strip or surge protector, stated Law. Because the number of calls exceeded department resources, the McMinnville Fire Department was assisted by Amity and Sheridan Fire District during these calls. McMinnville Fire also received assistance from McMinnville Police Department, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Station Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, YCOM and McMinnville Water & Light.


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