VIDEO: Power back on after Chilliwack substation erupts in flames

A major fire at an electrical substation in Chilliwack caused outages throughout the city.

A major fire at an electrical substation in Chilliwack is now out, and power has returned to the roughly 50,000 customers in Chilliwack and Abbotsford affected by the outage.

All roads in the immediate area of the fire are now open, although Chilliwack firefighters continue mop up operations.

The fire began at around 9:30 Friday morning after a 40,000-litre tank of oil burst into flames at the Atchelitz substation, located on Lickman Road, near South Sumas.

Several explosions at the site sent flames and dense black smoke into the air. At one point city officials were warning residents to stay inside, close their windows and turn off their furnaces to prevent toxic smoke from being drawn inside.

Schools, too, were told to keep children inside as a safety precaution.

According to BC Hydro, the 12  employees at the substation were quickly accounted for and confirmed as safe. As a precautionary measure, four of these employees went to hospital for assessment and have returned to work. The cause of the fire remains unconfirmed and will be investigated. BC Hydro spill response and environmental assessment teams are active onsite and Worksafe BC and local Ministry of Environment have also attended the site.

Work is underway to assess the damage sustained to the transformer and substation as a result of this incident. The damaged transformer holds approximately 115,000 litres of insulating oil and an intensive cleanup operation is now underway.

A thorough incident investigation will be conducted in the coming days and a restoration plan is being developed to replace the damaged transformer and address any other effects of the fire at the substation.

Firefighters from throughout the region were called to the scene in efforts to contain the blaze. Fire retardant foam was applied to the burning oil – some of it brought in from neighbouring Abbotsford.

Just Posted

Third storm in a week hits Chilliwack

Power knocked out to about 2,600 BC Hydro customers

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

VIDEO: Daze of Derby hosts teams from around B.C. and Washington

Reformatted tourney squeezed all the action into a one-day event.

10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read