© Jonathan Riley
Westport Fire Department.
A power pole fire knocked out power on Brier Island this morning.
Wally DeVries, chief of the Westport Fire Department says they were called out just after 6 a.m. to the fireworks on the front street.
“It was pretty spectacular,” says DeVries who lives just down the street. “It was like lightning was shooting out of it. The night sky was all lit up.”
He says the power was flickering on and off for several minutes as if someone was flicking a switch. By the time the fire fighters arrived at the pole, the fire had extinguished itself he says.
The arcing had stopped, a burned out wire was lying on the ground and the top of the pole was blackened from the fire.
It was snowing quite hard at the time.
At that point only about half the island lost power and anyone running on three-phase power.
David Rodenhiser, spokesperson with Nova Scotia Power says a ceramic insulator broke on the pole.
At 8 a.m. Nova Scotia Power shut off power to 193 customers so they could repair the transformer. Power was back on about an hour later.
Rodenhiser says Nova Scotia Power is in the middle of a program to replace the “hundreds of thousands” of ceramic insulators across the province.
“With that many insulators, it’s not a quick upgrade,” he says. “We’ve just started year four of our five-year $100 million reliability investment program.”