Downed Power Line Sparks Small Fire in Manhattan Beach; 253 Customers Without Electricity

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Emergency crews responded Sunday evening to a residential neighborhood in Manhattan Beach after a fallen 16,000-volt power line and a downed transformer sparked an electrical fire, officials said.

A screen shot from a viewer's video shows flames caused by an apparent downed power line in the area of 11th Street and North Poinsettia Avenue in Manhattan Beach on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

A screenshot from a viewer's video shows flames caused by a downed power line in the area of 11th Street and North Poinsettia Avenue in Manhattan Beach on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

The public was advised to avoid the area of 11th Street and North Poinsettia Avenue during the incident, according to a news release from the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

A Southern California Edison official said 5,644 customers were initially without power in connection with the episode.

Utility crews were making repairs at the location, according to Lauren Bartlett, an Edison spokeswoman. By 11 p.m., 253 customers remained in the dark.

Video from the scene, recorded by resident Jennifer Claman, showed dramatic flames caused by the fallen electrical line in front of her home.

Because the line was still energized when firefighters arrived at the location, they had to wait for Edison workers to turn off the power before the blaze was extinguished, the Manhattan Beach Fire Department said.

Firefighters "said they couldn't put any water on it because it was an electrical fire," Claman said. "We were waiting for Southern California Edison. We literally stood here for two hours, watching the flames grow nearer and nearer to that telephone pole."

Asked about the utility's response time to the incident, Bartlett declined to comment.

No one was injured by the fire and no structures were damaged.

Power was expected to be fully restored in the area by 7 a.m., according to Edison.

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