1,000 homes and businesses lose power after thieves cause Preston substation fire

More than 1,000 homes and businesses lost power in Preston after a fire at a substation this morning (October 23).

By Matthew Calderbank
Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 10:53 am
Firefighters tackled a fire at a substation in Kent Street, Preston at 5am this morning (October 23). Pic: @IanArmistead
Firefighters tackled a fire at a substation in Kent Street, Preston at 5am this morning (October 23). Pic: @IanArmistead

The fire happened at a substation in Kent Street at 5am, after thieves gained entry and attempted to steal electrical equipment.

Two fire engines from Preston and Penwortham battled the blaze for two hours and King Street had to be cordoned off for safety.

A spokesman for LRFS said: "We have isolated the electrics to make the scene safe for engineers from Electricity North West.

The fire at the substation in Kent Street has led to a power outage affecting 150 properties in the surrounding area

"It looks like the power will remain off for a good part of the day for some of the businesses in the immediate area.

"A cordon has been put in place and the road will likely remain closed this morning."

Electricity North West said 1,000 customers initially lost power, but supplies were restored to the vast majority of homes and businesses by 7.44am.

It said 149 properties are currently without supply in the PR1 post code area. The supply is expected to be fully restored by 1pm.

Electricity North West said the power cut and fire was caused by a break in at the substation, where thieves caused significant damage to the electrics.

Engineers arrived on site at around 7am to assess the damage and begin repairs.

A spokesperson for Electricity North West said: “A break in at the Kent Street substation in Preston at 5.11am this morning caused a fire which led to a power cut affecting 1,149 customers.

"We believe somebody attempted to steal electrical equipment and significant damage has been caused.

"Our engineers attended site immediately and worked alongside the local fire service who attended and were able to put out the fire.

"At 7.44am, we were able to restore power to 1,000 customers and engineers are working hard to restore power to the remaining 149 customers.

"If anybody saw anything in regards to the break in, we ask them to contact Lancashire Police."

Police said the fire had been caused by thieves attempting to steal copper wiring.

A police spokesman said: "We were called at around 5.40am today (Wednesday, October 23) to reports of a burglary and fire at an electricity substation on Kent Street, Preston.

"It looks like someone has broken in and attempted to steal some copper wiring, which has caused a fire.

"No arrests have been made."

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting log 162 of October 23.

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UPDATE: 1.07pm - Power has now been restored to all affected properties.

Affected post codes

PR1 1PL, PR1 1PU, PR1 1PY, PR1 1PR, PR1 6LJ, PR1 6LL, PR1 6LS, PR1 6LU, PR1 6LY, PR1 6NB, PR1 6NE, PR1 6NL, PR1 6NQ, PR1 6NR, PR1 6NT, PR1 6NX, PR1 6PZ, PR1 6QB, PR1 6TB, PR1 5AF, PR1 6JU, PR1 6JX, PR1 6JY, PR1 6LB, PR1 6LD, PR1 6LE, PR1 6LH, PR1 6QA, PR1 6QD, PR1 6QE, PR1 6QH, PR1 6QJ, PR1 6RB, PR1 6RX, PR1 6SQ, PR1 6SR, PR1 6SS, PR1 6ST, PR1 6SU, PR1 6SX, PR1 6TA, PR1 6TE, PR1 6TJ, PR1 6TL, PR1 6TP, PR1 6TQ, PR1 6TR, PR1 6TT, PR1 6TU, PR1 1TJ, PR1 1TP, PR1 1UH, PR1 1YR, PR1 1PJ, PR1 1PX, PR1 1QE, PR1 1QH, PR1 6LA, PR1 1HY, PR1 1RU, PR1 8RT, PR1 6QN, PR1 6QP, PR1 6QS, PR1 6RD, PR1 6RE, PR1 6RQ