DCFD Video: “Major underground transformer fire 18th & L St NW” Streets Closed, Office Buildings Without Power

by Prince Of Petworth August 16, 2016 at 9:30 am 11 Comments

via DC Fire and EMS

DC Fire and EMS reported last night:

“Major underground transformer fire 18th & L St NW threatening office building. Checking adjacent structures.”

“The transformer vault fire on L St. was extinguished and left with Pepco at approximately 2:30 AM. Our units have left scene.”

Alert DC reported as of 7:30am:

“MPD reports the intersection of 18th St NW and L St NW remains closed at this time. Updates will follow.”

A reader passes on from a nearby office building:

“Due to a PEPCO transformer fire in the K Street neighborhood, the 1801K Street building is out of power, and the property manager has closed the building until power can be restored. This outage has also resulted in lost power to the 1825 I Street part of the International Square building….

The 1850 K Street tower and the 1875 I Street towers of International Square remain open, but parking is limited and only available from the K Street entrance.

The landlords of the 1801 K Street and 1825 I Street buildings have informed us that employees should prepare for a multiple-day event. Employees should not enter the building to obtain computers and other belongings under any circumstance.”

another reader unaware of the fire notes:

“What’s up in the 1800 block of I st NW? Starbucks and pret are closed with no lights–a lot of people going hungry this morning!”

Update from the Golden Triangle BID:

More than 14 large downtown office buildings have been affected by power outages resulting from last night’s transformer fire at 18th and L Streets NW, according to the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID). This totals more than 4.5 million square feet of office and retail space, and affects more than 12,000 workers. Pepco has been on the scene all day.

“Many of the building managers put their emergency plans into action and notified their tenants early this morning, mitigating the impact,” says Golden Triangle BID Executive Director Leona Agouridis. “Building personnel have been working around the clock to ensure that office buildings are ready to open as soon power is restored. In addition, many of the affected tenants have also put their continuity of operations plans into action.”

The Golden Triangle BID wants to thank Pepco, the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS), the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DCHSEMA), and the building management staff for all the work they have been doing to help get the neighborhood back to business.”

  • Jerry Grundle

    It really sucks. I work nearby and because our servers are on site, I can’t access any of my files from home and have to take personal leave time.

    • ***

      That seems pretty unfair to fault the employee for something out of their control. I was sitting here thinking “Man, this sounds AWESOME! Free day off work… I’d be so happy in the AC comforts of home watching all the random 8am Olympics!”

      • skj84

        That’s crazy you have to use personal leave! I was worried about the same thing, but confirmed I don’t have to use my time.

  • kallie

    I feel bad for the people who’s work is impacted by this! But when I read a lot of people are going hungry this morning because of this – it just irked me. There are so many other place to grab a quick bite and a coffee around this area. Homeless people and the not-so-fortunate are going hungry this morning – commuters who can’t access their regularly planned Starbucks and Pret, aren’t in that group. Inconvenient, sure. Going hungry, no.

    • ***

      Right? OMG, I have to walk an extra 2 blocks to go to Starbucks!? First. World. Problems.

      • FridayGirl

        +1000. Ugh. It’s not like it happened during rush hour. Anyone who can afford to grab breakfast routinely on their way to work rather than eating at home (or not eating at all) is doing pretty well….

        • FridayGirl

          And by “it’s not like it happened during rush hour” I meant “ya’ll should’ve known and planned ahead”

    • anon

      +1. Going hungry? How about going to the million other Starbucks/Pret/Au Bon Pain in a two block radius of this area? I work in 1801 K St and was fortunate to have received a text from a coworker informing me of the closure right as I was about to leave today. I’m just so thankful this happened at night and not in the middle of a busy work day- that fire was no joke.

    • CHV

      100% agree! There’s absolutely no way that you misinterpreted a lighthearted joke and turned it into a commentary on class and privilege!

      • FridayGirl

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it would be a lot easier to figure out what was a joke and what was not if there weren’t so many people in existence who are actually that oblivious/entitled/etc.

        • kallie

          +100 and sometimes, what others may think is a “joke” is not actually one at all.


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