CHICAGO (WLS) — Hundreds of North Side residents are without power Wednesday night after an electrical pole caught fire in Lakeview East.
Video captured by residents near Broadway and Barry captured the fire and the Chicago Fire Department’s response. In one video, which was taken from behind a building on the alley in which the fire occurred, you can hear loud popping sounds indicating that transformers on the pole blew during the fire.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the fire was caused by blown transformers or whether they blew as a result of the fire. The Chicago Fire Department has not yet commented on the incident.
Hearing the commotion, James Carney wandered outside his West Briar Street apartment building to see what was going on and was confronted with a distinctly unpleasant surprise.
“They had the gate open. The firefighters were back there just hosing off something towards the back corner. I know that’s where I part, so I was like, great,” he said.
Sure enough, Carney’s Mazda sedan was fully engulfed in flames
“It was shock at first,” Carney said. “At first I was l couldn’t tell if it was my car that exploded or what was going on.”
The flaming electrical wires were directly above his car. Firefighters tried to salvage the sedan.
“Oh it was bad. They gave me a little false hope. They said it didn’t look that bad at first,” he said. “I looked at it. The whole entire top is melted off.”
ComEd confirmed they responded to an outage near Broadway and Barry and that the pole fire did impact service. ComEd said about 679 customers are without power and they hope to have it restored by 11 p.m.
No injuries have been reported.