9:15am Saturday morning – noticing lights flickering and finally dying, residents of Elliott Terrace witnessed an amazing event as despite the calm, dry weather, a telegraph pole half way up the street burst into flames quickly followed by a series of explosions. Within minutes the entire top end of the pole was engulfed in flame.
Molten plastic insulation showered the ground and set part of the road on fire until residents put out the flames with water. A nearby car escaped disaster by only a couple of metres – hence avoiding a major catastrophe. Residents were left with temperatures of 4c and no heat or lighting.
Our neighbours knocked on the door and as we looked out all we could see was smoke and flame, for a moment it looked as if the whole post was going to burst into flames. Had the car set on fire we could have been looking at the street ending up in flames. Emergency services took 20 minutes or so to get there by which time the fire was out.
Standing at the gateway there were flames and several explosions at the top of the pole – and the next thing flames showered down onto the street only a couple of metres away from a car. The fire was quickly put out by a neighbour but by the time the flames died on the post, the electrics were totally shot – thankfully the more powerful cables at the top seemed to escape damage as I’m still writing this blog!!! Fire services are here and no doubt someone will have to dismantle the lot and replace the pole – I just hope they can do it without robbing us of power long enough for he freezer contents to go the journey. I guess I’ll be spending Monday in my out of office office (i.e. top of the hill in the car armed with laptop and phone)
Amazingly within a couple of hours the electricity guy was up and dismantling the burned out cables while keeping the working main line running – well done. He reckons within the day the power will be restored but that ultimately the pole will need replacing (obviously).