Sparks from overheated wires in an underground Utah Power electrical vault ignited a small fire Tuesday night, leaving an entire downtown Salt Lake block without electricity.
The fire department was dispatched to the fire at 36 Post Office Place at 10:07 p.m.Capt. Roger Halterman said the vault, which is the connection of the power lines running into the buildings, was smoldering when firefighters arrived. The flames were doused in about 30 minutes, he added.
Bewildered customers of Salt Lake night spots, like Port O'Call at 375 S. West Temple and the Zephyr club, 301 S. West Temple, clustered on the sidewalks in the dark watching firefighters respond to the call.
"We handled the fire pretty quick. It wasn't that big of a fire," Halterman said. "They have worked on getting the lights back on all night. The power should be restored by now."
Utah Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said workers restored power to the buildings about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The reason for the electrical shortage is unclear, he said.