Power outage fries electronics and keeps Dawson Creek fire crews busy

A submitted photo of a singed floor caused by a power bar malfunction during yesterday's power outage. Photo by Todd Sexton

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Members of the Dawson Creek Fire Department had a busy evening as soon as the lights went out across the Peace Region yesterday.

Dawson Creek Fire Chief Gordon “Shorty” Smith says that fire crews received 18 calls during the one-hour span of the outage. Smith says that while the two calls for people trapped in elevators when the lights went out were considered normal, others weren’t. The bulk of the calls were for fire alarms that were triggered by the outage, along with two calls for power bars that had singed floors and started smoking. A tweet to BC Hydro complained of electronics that had been fried as well.

 

In contrast, Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows says that crews only responded to two outage-related calls. The first involved people stuck in an elevator, while the second call came from a townhouse in the new development near 102nd Ave and 109th St. Burrows says that the townhouse residents can been cooking in the oven when the power went out. The residents then left to grab dinner elsewhere and forgot to turn off the oven, which restarted once the power came back on. According to Burrows, no one was injured and the only damage sustained was to the meal itself, while the townhouse had to be ventilated of smoke.

BC Hydro spokesperson Bob Gammer says that though a lightning strike to one of the main 500 kV transmission lines running from Hudson’s Hope to Prince George, there was lightning in the Dawson Creek area that could have caused a damaging power surge. Gammer added that though Hydro does allow affected residents to claim for damages caused by outages, that might not be the case due to the lightning strike being out of Hydro’s control. Those wanting to make a claim can do so by calling 1 (800) 224-9376, or going to: https://www.bchydro.com/contact/claims.html.