Good News: Giant Plume of Smoke From APS Transformer Fire Won't Kill You

Categories: Burning Arizona
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There's good news and bad news about the transformer that caught fire in Phoenix last night.

The good news: the enormous plume of smoke that is currently drifting West over downtown Phoenix is non-toxic.

The bad news: the smoke could be here for a while -- Phoenix fire crews are going to let the fire burn itself out, which could take several days.

The transformer -- at an APS substation near 67th Street and Pinnacle Peak Road -- caught fire about 10 p.m. yesterday.

Fire crews used more than 7,000 gallons of water to try an extinguish the blaze, but they failed, and the fire continues to burn as of this writing.

Phoenix Fire Captain Scott McDonald tells New Times the plan, for now, is to let the fire burn itself out. Reports in the Arizona Republic that there's a concern water used to fight the blaze could damage nearby houses is incorrect, he says -- the nearest home is more than a mile from the transformer.

"This water would have to run about a mile and a half down Pinnacle Peak Road, and then take a left before it reaches any houses," McDonald jokes.

The Department of Environmental Quality has determined that the smoke is non-toxic and poses no health hazard to the public.


Check back for updates.
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8 comments
Power
Power

Exact makeup.... Mineral oil. relax people.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

Typical APS crap.

I really wish another energy company would move into my town. I hate APS. They level plants along their lines everyday. They run over my plants once a month. And they are rude and selfish.

scobob
scobob

Non-toxic in this case means it won't hurt you soon enough and bad enough to be able to prove that this was a cause. It is the cooling oil in the transformer which is burning and while it no longer is allowed to contain pcb's, its exact make up is proprietary and your guess is as good as mine as to whats in it.

Neasha29
Neasha29

I don't believe it. How can they determine it is non-toxic in any way? I don't trust these people at all whatsoever!!!!!!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

That's the ARIZONA DEQ, and we all know how competent the mis-managed, and under-funded  state agencies are.

If I lived downwind of these transformers, I think I would be investing in a respirator about now.

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