Thousands lose power after fire
CLINTON Church is used to being hard at work by 6am, but yesterday his Avoca IGA store was still quiet and dark after a massive power cut affected 13,500 homes and businesses.
“We weren’t able to trade until 7.30am,” Mr Church said.
With a large sign proclaiming the store closed due to a power cut, Mr Church said most of his customers understood and he had not lost too much trade.
“But if the power had been out for another 30 minutes, I would have started to lose refrigerated stock,” he said.
The outage was caused by a fire at the Bundaberg West substation, about 3.30am yesterday.
Ergon Energy crews were confronted by thick smoke billowing from the substation building, and dialled emergency services.
Queensland Fire and Rescue station officer Glenn Gifford said the fire was quickly extinguished, but not before causing significant smoke and soot damage.
He said the cause of the fire was unknown, but it was not believed to be suspicious.
The blaze cut electricity to about 13,500 customers while Ergon Energy crews worked to switch the damaged substation to another supply.
About 11,000 homes were reconnected by 7am, with the remainder connected soon afterwards.
A detailed investigation into the cause of the fire will continue while specialist crews repair the damage.