Sub-station fire causes brief power outage
A fire at a sub-station south of New York Mills caused a power outage affecting about 1,300 people in and around New York Mills.
The sub-station, operated by Lake Region Electric Cooperative, is located on Otter Tail County Highway 135.
Firefighters and LREC crews were called out to a fire at the sub-station at 10:24 p.m. When firefighers arrived flames were visible in an isolated area of the station. LREC arrived and extinguised the small blaze.
According to a LREC spokesperson, the fire started when a regulator failed, causing a fuse to open. Power had to be shut down while crews worked on the problem.
A regulator steps power up and down and keeps the output at a steady level.
Power was restored after about 70 minutes with the system back online at 11:34 p.m.
The LREC crew re-routed the power and expect to replace the regulator this week.
The accident caused a complete power outage in both the City of New York Mills, as well as the rural area served by the sub-station. Otter Tail Power is the main supplier of electricity in New York Mills, with LREC in the rural areas.
Otter Tail Power feeds the LREC sub-station, and in order to fix the problem Friday night, had to dump power to bypass the affected transformer.