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West Hartford Fire Department Responds to Burnt Transformer at University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford Fire Department Quint 4. Courtesy photo

An arcing transformer lead to a ‘smoke condition’ in a University of Saint Joseph building on Wednesday morning.

By Dexter McCann

The West Hartford Fire Department responded to an arcing transformer at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Wednesday morning, extinguishing the ensuing fire and preventing any injuries. 

The West Hartford Public Safety Dispatch received a report from the USJ at 9:23 a.m. on Wednesday, alerting them to the arcing transformer. In response, Fire Department units were “immediately dispatched and arrived on the scene in 8 minutes,” reported West Hartford Fire Chief Greg Priest. 

On arrival, they “discovered a smoke condition” in the area of the arcing electrical transformer. As a result of the condition, two USJ buildings were evacuated. In total, the evacuation consisted of 35 people, all employees of the university. 

After dealing with the initial smoke condition, the Fire Department called on Eversource, an electric services company, to help fix the blown transformer. After shutting down the power to the affected the building, they diagnosed the insulation surrounding the transformer as burnt, with the transformer itself being out.  

Eversource remained on the scene Wednesday afternoon making repairs on the transformer and ensuring that employees can be assured of their safety on return to the affected building. The evacuated employees were moved to other parts of the college when Eversource arrived on the scene. 

Following Eversource’s arrival and the assurance that the condition of the affected building and surrounding areas were stable, all West Hartford Fire Department units cleared the area. 

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Dexter McCann

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