Louisa power substation fire allowed to burn; outages avoided

A fire at a power substation forced the closing of U.S. 23 to traffic near Louisa for a couple of hours Thursday morning, but the Lawrence County emergency management director said the road has reopened.

"For the most part, it's burned out already," said Michael Woods, the emergency management director, at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. "There's still a little bit of residual burning."

The fire was reported at midnight at Kentucky Power's Baker substation about five miles north of Louisa, Woods said. It was allowed to burn through the night.

No one was hurt. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Oil from a transformer flowed into and was contained in a ditch line, Woods said. A subcontractor was summoned to begin clean-up, Woods said.

U.S. 23 was closed to traffic until about 2 a.m. Thursday, Woods said.

There were no power outages associated with the fire. "They were able to switch their grid around, so it didn't affect anybody as far as I know," Woods said.

Woods said the clean-up and mitigation of the oil might take a couple of days.

Kentucky Power is an operating unit of American Electric Power and provides electricity to about 172,000 customers in all or part of 20 Eastern Kentucky counties.