Monday, April 22, 2024

Downed wires spark car fires (with video)


Firefighters respond to car fire outside business

By RICK BEASLEY, Depoe Bay Beacon

Special to Lincoln City Homepage

A power line weakened by gusts from an approaching storm upended the small coast city of Depoe Bay Thursday, January 11 when a fallen live overhead wire set fire to cars at an auto repair shop.

Electricity to about half the town was abruptly curtailed at about 2:45p.m. when the power line fell into the parking lot of Car Audio 101 at 473 SW Hwy 101. 

The businesses parking lot was jammed with vehicles awaiting service. Traffic on Highway 101 was brought to a standstill, as was internet service.

The owner of the business tried to subdue the initial blaze with a fire extinguisher but was driven back by the sparking powerline.

A city official who closed the nearby city hall after the blackout said it took 25 minutes for fire trucks to arrive.

Though a fire station was within 100 yards of the incident, all fire department personnel from the Depoe Bay Fire District were at the Gleneden Beach station, about six miles away.

Finally, upon arrival, firefighters had to stand by until power was cut off by the local utility company.

See video here

Rick Beasley
Rick Beasley
Special to Homepage, Rick Beasley is an award-winning journalist across newsprint and digital media. Also founder of the Depoe Bay Beacon and Beacon Media.


  1. Tree limbs not trimmed back in time was the cause of failure. A coupler disconnected from the pole to the north of us. PUD did a significant removal on trees and branches before restoring the power. Once the highway was shut down cars starting detouring onto Hawkins. The power line was still live and running across the street. A combination of the line still being hot & people detouring onto a hazardous road sent people trying to get around the closure directly into harms way. Important details that got missed. We may have saved a few lives.

  2. So sorry to hear and see this disaster has happened to such nice business people. Justin and Ross Huffman-Kerr, customers from Lincoln City

  3. 11 splice couplers were & are still are in place between the 2 power poles. Although splice couplers are common, there is an excessive amount of them over our property. I have yet to see anywhere with this many splice couplers. Can you count or identify more 11 or more splice couplers between any two utility poles in your area???? I have already played that game. Central PUD claims no negligence. They must have forgot that we are experienced electrical diagnostics technicians skilled in the art of investigating cause of failure. Once again we have been significantly underestimated as they try to stonewall & deflect this issue. The power lines stayed energized for approximately 40 minutes from the time of the incident as we run around putting our own life’s as risk to protect the community from driving into the downed power line that was blocking Heiberg street. What would you prefer? A “home run” or 11 splices??? Central PUD is to scared to discuss the matter with me. They have let down the community, my customers, & me! The real story is painful. More details exist but lets just stop there for now.


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