Transformer fire forces buildings to be evacuated

December 25, 1997|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A transformer fire fed by a gas line burned for several hours in Cockeysville yesterday morning, leading to the evacuation of several office buildings, fire officials said. No one was injured.

The fire started shortly before 6 a.m. in a transformer on the ground between two parking lots at 10707 Gilroy Road, said county fire spokesman Mark Hubbard.

One fire engine was called, and firefighters sprayed the fire first with water and then with foam. But it continued to burn because it was being fed by a nearby gas main, said Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Peggy Mulloy.

The fire was caused by a fault in the electric line, Mulloy said.

"The electric cable failed, and electricity traveled through to the gas main and burned a little hole in the main," she said.

A crew from BGE had to dig to reach the main, she said.

"They shut the gas off in a little over an hour," Mulloy said. "There were no valves along that extension off the main, so they had to dig 400 feet away and pinch a main."

BGE shut off electricity in seven nearby buildings, Mulloy said, but most of them were commercial warehouses that were closed for the holiday.

Hubbard, the fire spokesman, said three nearby office buildings were briefly evacuated as a precaution after firefighters smelled gas around the fire. Teledyne Corp. and Office Movers were two of the buildings evacuated, he said, and the third was a multipurpose office building.

Pub Date: 12/25/97

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