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Power restored to 53,000 homes and businesses after fire at major substation

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – A transformer fire at a major power substation in south St. Louis County knocked out electricity to about 53,000 homes and businesses around 4:30 this morning, and the first customers started getting power back around 7 a.m.

Ameren spokeswoman Susan Gallagher said the fire caused an automatic shutdown of the substation, and crews began restoring power around 7 a.m.

"The heat and smoke caused the devices to switch off, as they were designed to do," Gallagher said. "After inspecting and resetting those switches, we're re-energizing the station."

KWMU's transmitter in Shrewsbury, which does not have a backup generator, was off the air for more than two hours.

The outage affected a big part of the metro area, from Richmond Heights and the Central West End in the north to Crestwood and Affton and other points south.

A number of schools in that area are closed for the day or delayed their start times.


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