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Transformer fire shuts down Sierra Highway

Eight transformers burn, leak hazardous materials

Posted: July 3, 2008 1:02 p.m.
Updated: September 3, 2008 5:03 a.m.

The morning commute on Sierra Highway was a bit tougher Thursday morning, when both directions of the artery road were shut down due to a transformer fire and hazardous material spill.

At about 3:51 a.m., fire officials arrived near a Southern California Edison facility in the 22000 block of Sierra Highway, just below the Interstate 5/Highway 14 split, and discovered eight transformers were leaking and burning, said Inspector Sam Padilla with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Sierra Highway through the Newhall Pass is a critical juncture for commuters driving in and out of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Padilla added that the blaze, which burned the eight transformers, was put out by 4:50 a.m. The county Health Hazardous Materials Division was summoned to assist in the cleanup, and used 120 gallons of mineral oil and 2,000 gallons of water to fight the blaze. Hazardous Materials remained on scene throughout the morning.

Shortly before 10 a.m., the California Highway Patrol reported they were no longer at the scene, and northbound lanes were open. However, southbound lanes remained closed at that time as Hazardous Materials continued its cleanup through the afternoon.



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