Yesterday evening at 8:30pm a car driven by a youth hit a substation in the Jennyfields area of Harrogate. The substation caught fire but luckily the youth escaped.
Fire crews had to wait until gaining confirmation from Northern Powergrid that substation had been fully isolated before using water hose jets. By 10:00pm they had that confirmation and the fire was quickly put out. The damage has been excessive though.
The Engineers for Northern Powergrid on site this morning have said that power should be restored to the, approximately 250 homes without power by 12:30 today (14 April 2012). Due to the level of damage to the substation, a trench has needed to be dug to allow access to the incoming cables to the substation. These are being spliced into, allowing neighbouring substations to power the homes without power.
The substation itself will need to be flattened and re-built from the ground up again, likely to take weeks.
Sergeant Tom Jackson from Harrogate Police said:
15 year old youth has been released on bail by North Yorkshire Police following a car crash on Beningborough Drive, Harrogate on the evening of Friday 13th April. The vehicle caught fire after colliding with an electricity substation, leading to around 200 homes losing power. Nobody was injured in the collision which was also attended by a number of Fire and Rescue vehicles. Northern Power report that the substation was destroyed in the fire and will cost approximately £50,000 to replace. They hope to restore power by midday on Saturday 14th April. In the meantime their helpline number is 0800 668877.
Annette and Ray Simms lived next door to the substation and had the property most at risk from the fire.
It was just really frightening. We heard a loud bang and the lights flickered off but then came back on then went off completely.
We went outside and could see the fire, people were on mobiles dialling 999, there was an awful lot of sparking and banging going on.
The fire crews were quickly at the scene and evacuated us from our house. We went across to be at friends house.
A water curtain was erected that kept a continuous spray of water between the substation and the Simms home. As a result of the swift action from the fire service the only damage to their house is a cracked landing window. Heat cameras were used throughout the fire to monitor the building temperature and while the substation itself was at over 500 deg C, the house remained at a temperature no more than a warm summers day.
The fire service were brilliant and kept us informed as to what was going on. We are looking forward to the power coming back on though now.
Annette and Ray Simms are back in their house today and the Northern Powergrid have put a lot of resources on this problem to resolve quickly.
Annette and Ray Simms live next door to the substation
The excavation trench with power cables being reconnected