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Power restored after fire ignites at substation

Power has been restored to about 12,000 customers in Cass County, Michigan after a substation caught fire Monday afternoon.
Midwest Energy Cooperative Officials said they do not know what caused the fire, but they were able to reroute power into White Pigeon and Constantine from a nearby substation.
Crews had to clip the lines to make sure electricity would not transfer back into the burnt substation, which still had smoke fuming from one of the transmitters hours after firefighters put out the flames.
“There is just not much left of the structure to give us clues as to what started it,” said Terry Rubenthaler, vice president of engineering and power supply for Midwest. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
 
Nearby neighbors told ABC 57 it was a sight they will never forget.
 
“It surely flashed several times, lighting the whole bean field up. Just, ZZZ ZZZ. And, wow! You didn’t want to be by it, that’s for sure,” said Kevin Keith Reingardt. “You couldn’t even look at it. It would burn your eyes if you looked at,” he added.
 
Reingardt’s daughters snapped photos of the flames and smoke. He said they called 911 and crews had power shut off within about five minutes.
 
Officials are still trying to pinpoint what sparked the fire.

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