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Squirrel causes power outage on South Side Connellsville

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

There was a power outage on Connellsville's South Side on Monday morning. Residents reported they heard an explosion. West Penn Power crews found that a squirrel did it.

According to Todd Meyers, West Penn Power spokesman, 51 homes were affected by the outage that began at 8:37 a.m. and lasted until 9:43 a.m.

“The cause was a squirrel,” Meyers said. “He got onto a transformer and caused the outage.”

There is a fuse on the transformers that pops open “by design” that saves the equipment from damage, Meyers said. That fuse was the cause of the sound residents mistook for an explosion. The pole with the transformer was on Chestnut Street between Davidson Avenue and East Austin Street.

Crews found the cause of the outage when they arrived at the location. The squirrel lay dead on the ground by the pole with obvious marks from the animal touching the power equipment.

“Animals, even birds, get into the facilities from time to time,” Meyers said.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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