Broken AEP Power Lines Lead to Fire, Outage Near Donna

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ELSA – Downed AEP power lines caused a three-acre grass fire, according to Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider.

The power line break left 1,900 customers in the heat without air conditioning early Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve been out of power for almost all day," said Eva Garate, a homeowner near the fire.

Garate lives alone with her two dogs Lola and Patches.

“We’re burning up inside the house! We don’t have A/C, we don’t have anything right now.”

Garate said she found the cause of the fire alarming. She wondered if the problem could occur again.

“It’s very bad because why did it snap? Could it snap closer to my house? How could that happen?” she questioned.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to AEP for details on how the cause of the fire. Daniel Lucio, AEP's external affairs manager, issued the following statement, which reads in part:

“The specific cause of the outage is still being investigated. A downed power line caused a small fire on the ground. The fire was quickly contained and there was no immediate danger to anyone in the area. The outage is still ongoing however we are down to less than 900 customers out of power. The outage which began approximately 1:30 this afternoon initially affected 1,900 customers. We anticipate a complete power restoration in less than one hour.''

Snider said several factors could cause power lines to break.

“A lot of use. It could have been a break, damage before. A number of things that could have caused the power lines to drop,” he said.

Power was restored to all residents at approximately 4:30 p.m.


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