Tuesday afternoon fire, power failure in Pleasanton blamed on bird
Wings touch two live wires, causing shorts, fire, overhead transformer failure
Electric power was cut to hundreds of residents in southwest Pleasanton Tuesday afternoon after a bird caused a series of transmission line shorts that led to a fire and a transformer loss.
Battalion Chief Jack Neiman-Kimel of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department said the bird was perched on a power line on Sycamore Drive at Dalton Creek Way when it spread its wings. The wings touched two lines causing a major short with the electrocuted bird dropping into the field below, causing a fire.
At the same time, the damaged lines triggered an electrical failure at Sycamore Way and Sycamore Creek Road, causing a transformer to burst into flames and fall to the ground from its overhead position to the lawn near 476 Sycamore Drive , causing more outages.
Neiman-Kimel said neighbors heard a loud explosion when the transformer fell and called 911 at 3:53 p.m. Firefighters were on the scene in minutes and extinguished the fires within 15 minutes.
PG&E crews also responded and said power should be restored to the neighborhood by about 6:45 p.m.