UPDATE: MONDAY 9/11/2023 5:18 p.m.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Colorado Springs Utilities said it is still working to restore power to a large portion of the Downtown area following the early morning underground fire that knocked out power to businesses, homes, and traffic lights on Monday.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, power restoration work remained ongoing, and the stretch of Kiowa Street between Tejon Street and Nevada Avenue remains closed.
The yellow area in the above map shows the area that is still being impacted by the outage. Springs Utilities said restoration work will continue nonstop until power is restored.
The City of Colorado Springs said multiple traffic lights remain dark, and reminds drivers to treat any dark intersection as a four-way stop. The impacted intersections are:
- Cascade / Kiowa
- Pikes Peak / Tejon
- Tejon / Kiowa
- Tejon / Bijou
- Nevada / Bijou
Springs Utilities has created a page on their website for locals to find information specifically pertaining to the Downtown outage, which can be found here.
ORIGINAL STORY: Electrical equipment failure cause of underground fire, Springs Utilities says
MONDAY 9/11/2023 11:45 a.m.
An underground fire that closed several streets in downtown Colorado Springs overnight on Monday, Sept. 11, is believed to have been caused by equipment failure, according to Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities).
Just after 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, an “underground transformer vault experienced an equipment failure” that impacted Kiowa Street between Tejon Street and Nevada Avenue, Springs Utilities wrote in a press release.
The equipment failure caused a fire that was quickly put out by the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD). Several buildings and streetlights in the area were impacted as Springs Utilities continues to work on restoring power to about 280 metered properties as of Monday afternoon.
“The manhole covers actually did their job, so they are designed to kind of pop off, and basically what that does, is it relieves pressure so there is no incidence of a collapse for the sidewalk,” said Ashley Franco, Public Information Officer for the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD).
One residential building and nearby business were evacuated during the incident, according to CSFD. “So, the biggest reason for that was because we had a lot of Carbon Monoxide alarms going off… and we had very high Carbon Monoxide readings on our meters,” said Franco.
No injuries have been reported and everyone was evacuated safely and allowed to return to their homes and businesses this afternoon.
CSFD said several dozen businesses nearby remain on fire watch.
According to Springs Utilities, drivers should treat intersections as four-way stops until power is restored, and Kiowa St. between Tejon St. and Nevada Ave. remains closed to traffic.
Metro Transit is operating, but the downtown station and parking garage are closed.
CSFD, Springs Utilities, and the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) remain on the scene as the investigation continues.
More updates on the incident are expected to be released at a media briefing slated for 1 p.m. Monday, which FOX21 News will attend and update this article as new information comes in.