Residents praise quick response to Monday morning substation fir - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Residents praise quick response to Monday morning substation fire

Jesus Villalobos (Source: KCBD Video) Jesus Villalobos (Source: KCBD Video)
Shannon Crossland (Source: KCBD Video) Shannon Crossland (Source: KCBD Video)

Shock and awe. Those are the words residents are using to describe an overnight fire at a substation in west Lubbock that left more than 7,000 people without power.

It happened around 2 a.m. at the LP&L substation at 11th and Milwaukee.

The rise across the street from the substation is visibly charred.

Nearby residents say they won't forget the fire, or the shock of the initial blast.

"World War Three, alien abduction...just everything, I was just in shock - I didn't know what was going on," said Jesus Villalobos, who lives near the riser.

"My first thought was a possible plane crash. I thought, oh, I've got to help those people - just because of the noise. It sounded like an engine, a plane engine roaring, you know, with the light, that was my first thought was that a plane had gone down," Shannon Crossland, who lives in the same neighborhood, said.

Last night's excitement was clearly out of the ordinary for their quiet cul-de-sac.

They stepped outside into extraordinary conditions, after something sparked the riser at 11th Place, causing the line of electricity to overheat, ultimately leading to a fire and an arc of electricity that lit up the night sky.

"I could just smell the smoke, it just smelled burnt outside. It was so bright, you could see...clearly, I could see down the street easily," Villalobos said.

"It was so bright and it was clear what was happening, but it was so bright it hurt your eyes," Crossland said.

Despite the chaotic circumstances, both Villalobos and Crossland say they appreciate those who went above and beyond.

"They handled it pretty well. The ambulance showed up pretty quick and after that you could just hear 'em all out there trying to get it out," Villalobos said.

"The Lubbock Police and the Lubbock Fire Department - they all showed up very quickly," Crossland said.

LP&L officials say city leaders gathered together in the Emergency Operations Center to make sure everyone was on the same page.

Villalobos and Crossland were also impressed by how quickly LP&L crews returned their lives to normal.

"I had to get up at seven, and by then everything was back to normal,"  Villalobos said.

"After it was all said and done, they did an excellent job and got our power restored very quickly," Crossland said.

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