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Substation fire originated in ATC transmission equipment, according to MGE

MGE substation fire and explosion July 19, 2019 in Madison.
MGE substation fire and explosion July 19, 2019 in Madison.
MGE substation fire and explosion July 19, 2019 in Madison.
MGE substation fire and explosion July 19, 2019 in Madison.

MADISON (WKOW) — The investigation into what caused the fire Friday at the Blount substation in Madison points to a piece of transmission equipment operated by American Transmission Co., according to a news release from MGE.

The explosion and subsequent fire at the Blount substation on East Main Street in downtown Madison was reported about 7:40 a.m. Friday, July 19.

This substation contains transmission equipment belonging to ATC and distribution equipment belonging to MGE.

The investigation into what caused the fire at the Blount substation is ongoing; however, evidence shows the fire originated in a piece of transmission equipment owned and operated by ATC. Some MGE distribution equipment also was damaged in the fire.

Shortly after the fire at the Blount substation, a second fire occurred in the ATC portion of the East Campus substation near the Kohl Center.

These two substations are connected by the transmission system.  While some ATC equipment reportedly incurred damage, MGE equipment was not damaged in this fire.

ATC is leading cleanup of the facilities and is leading the investigation into what caused the Blount and East Campus substation fires and resulting damage. MGE will continue to work with ATC to understand what occurred and to ensure a reliable, resilient electric grid.

Shortly after the fire began Friday, MGE de-energized the Blount Street substation to allow firefighters access. That shut off power to customers in the downtown and Isthmus areas.

MGE crews worked to restore power over the course of the day Friday. By early evening, all power had been restored to customers impacted by the outage.

While electric reliability has been restored to our customers, both utilities are continuing to assess and repair damaged equipment, according to MGE.

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