Squirrel Causes Explosion, Power Outage in Menlo Park: Fire Officials

A squirrel is believed to be the cause of an explosion and temporary power outage Tuesday evening in Menlo Park, according to the Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a reported explosion with a fire alarm sounding at 1275 Crane St. at 6.33 p.m., fire officials said. Moments later, residents at nearby 1331 Crane St. reported the power was out in the building, and someone was trapped in an elevator.

Residents on Crane Street told fire Capt. Seth Johnson that they had heard a loud explosion, the power immediately went out in the area, and they had found a dead gray squirrel lying in the gutter, smoldering.

Fire crews rescued single occupants in two elevators at two addresses on Crane Street.

PG&E responded within 30 minutes, and power was restored to all customers by just after 8 p.m., fire officials said.

PG&E officials believed the squirrel had tried to bite into the power line, causing an electrical arch and explosion that had temporarily knocked the power out, fire officials said.

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