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Small fire causes South Kitsap PSE customers to lose power for second time in three days

A Washington State Patrol trooper directs traffic Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Bethel and Sedgwick roads during the second power outage in South Kitsap in two days. - Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo
A Washington State Patrol trooper directs traffic Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Bethel and Sedgwick roads during the second power outage in South Kitsap in two days.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo

A second power outage in three days hit South Kitsap residents Thursday afternoon, shutting down power to about 4,500 customers, according to Puget Sound Energy.

Spokesman Joseph Harris said power went out Thursday at about 1:15 p.m. due to “equipment failure” at the company’s East Port Orchard substation.

“I was told by an operator that it was substation-related and due to a small equipment fire, which can be caused by something as small as a squirrel,” Harris said.

Harris said the same substation had problems Tuesday afternoon, but that outage was caused by “a tree falling on the lines,” which he said “tripped the safety system and shut off” power.

Since the outage occurred at the same substation, the same amount of customers — 4,500 — were affected by Tuesday’s outage. That day the power went out around 4:30 p.m., and was restored about an hour later.

However, Harris said Thursday’s power outage was caused by a “completely different” problem.

At 3:15 p.m. Thursday the power was still out in sections of Port Orchard, clogging major intersections such as Bethel and Lund avenues and Mile Hill Drive and Jackson Avenue.

The power was restored around 3:45 p.m.

Harris said the cause of Thursday’s outage was determined to indeed have been a squirrel on the lines that sparked a fire.

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