Wires sparking in back of LBS (Lakewood Building Supply) parking lot caused widespread power outages in the greater area.
Video of the flames shooting from the transformer
The fires on the ground (in the video below) likely started by molten debris (possibly melted wires or other items) that caused debris on the ground to smolder and burn.
Extinguishing the flames
Over 15,700 Lakewood residents, over 1,700 Toms River residents, and over 2,000 Jackson residents are without power. JCP&L says they expect to restore all power by 5:00pm.
Police are urging to drive with extreme caution as many traffic lights are out. Remember to treat lights out as 4-way stop intersections.
“JCP&L crews are responding to an outage affecting approximately 20,000 customers in northern and central Ocean County that began shortly after 2:30pm today. The outage appears related to high-voltage transmission lines. Crews will survey and isolate any damage, which will allow for switching and restoration of customers. We currently expect power to be restored later this afternoon”, Christopher Hoenig, a JCP&L spokesperson told LNN.
UPDATE – 3:30pm: Power is back for several thousand residents, and switching is continuing, so more will be restored in short order, a JCP&L spokesperson tells LNN.
UPDATE – 3:50pm: Vast majority of power has been restored. Only 255 Lakewood residents remain without power.
Lights out at Monmouth Avenue and Fourth Street