Residents Eagerly Wait for Power After Fiery Crash Scorches Transformer Box

Nearby residents panicked the flames would reach their homes.

A scorched transformer box and mangled wires were all that was left of a utility pole in El Monte that cracked in half after an overnight fiery crash.

Live power lines went up in flames when the pole crashed to the ground after a woman slammed into it at about 12:15 a.m. in the 11500 block of Lower Azusa Road.

Nearby residents panicked the flames would reach their homes.

"That was the first thing on my mind, try to make sure the fire don't get to the house," Johnny Sy said.

The fire was put out quickly, causing no major damage to the homes in the area, but hundreds of residents were left without power for hours.

Crews worked to repair the damaged box and utility pole Monday morning while officials from the Los Angeles County Fire Department made final inspections, confirming all the lines were off.

Anthony Salazar heard the explosion and was one of the first people to call for help. After not having power for nearly 10 hours, he's eager to have it turned back on.


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"We can't cook first of all because of an electrical stove, we cannot use the microwave, we cannot charge cell phones, all cell phones are dead, " he said. "We have nothing right now."

Officers from the El Monte Police Department said the driver fell asleep behind the wheel when she crashed. She was taken to a nearby hospital with minor to moderate injuries, they added.

It was unclear when power would be fully restored to the neighborhood.

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