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Gun battle may have caused power outage, police say

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Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, 7:39 p.m.

An apparent gun battle on West Warrington Avenue on Sunday night caused a transformer fire and power outage that affected parts of Route 51, the Liberty Tunnel, Beltz-hoover and Mt. Washington, authorities said.

Pittsburgh police responded to 911 calls for gunshots on West Warrington near Boggston Avenue at 6:20 p.m., at the same time that a transformer on that block was reported to be sparking and on fire.

Zone 3 Sgt. Chad O'Brien said investigators found two different types of shell casings about a block apart, indicating two people had been shooting at one another. The transformer atop a utility pole was likely struck by a shot that went wide — and about 40 feet high, O'Brien said.

The resulting power outage affected traffic lights on Route 51 and lights inside the Liberty Tunnel, as well as homes in Mt. Washington and Beltzhoover, O'Brien said. Duquesne Light crews had the transformer replaced in about an hour.

No one appeared to have been injured in the gunfight or fire.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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