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3,000 Lose Power After Balloon Sparks Telephone Wire Fire

PG&E is working to restore power to those affected.

A mylar balloon that got hung up on a power line on Camino Alto sparked a small fire that caused an outage for 3,000 PG&E customers, Fire Chief Jeff Davidson said. 

Power cut out at 11:47 a.m. and affected about 350 customers in Mill Valley, 2,000 in Corte Madera, and 650 in Larkspur, PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said. It was restored by 12:30 p.m.

The flames were contained to about 20 square feet near the , by the pole adjacent to where the balloon got caught in the wires. Firefighters closed down one lane on Camino Alto to get trucks to the scene, and quickly put out the fire, Davidson said.

It's not uncommon for balloons to affect service. 

"We have a number of outages around the holidays caused by balloons," McKannay said.

Valentine's Day stands out in particular, and residents should remember to keep balloons weighted and not release them into the air.

Sylvia "Chipps" Newsom Barsky October 01, 2012 at 09:15 PM
When are they going to ban those mylar balloons?
Terry McSweeney October 01, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Nice work MV Patch!
Robert Del Secco October 01, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are dead on Chipps! The foil/mylar balloons are a conductive material. Whats wrong with natural rubber balloons? Non-conductive, non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable resource all come to mind. These mylar balloons are right up there with plastic bags as far as environmental concerns.
Rico October 02, 2012 at 02:30 AM
I agree Bob, do you still work at Stinson Beach ? Those conductive balloons can cause power problems, but the headline says telephone wire fire.So, how many landline telephones were knocked out Cate ?

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