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Power pole fire knocks out power to 6,600

Thu., July 14, 2011, 7:38 p.m.

An electrical pole fire about 7:30 this evening in North Central Spokane left about 6,600 Avista customers in the area without power.

About 24 were without power as of 10:00 p.m. According to the Avista website, all power is expected to be back on by about 11 p.m.

Pole fires are not uncommon in this area this time of year, said Debbie Simock, Avista’s communication manager.

“Dust in the air will build up on the conductors and the insulators and the equipment on the pole, and if you get some moisture, like from rain, it acts as a conductor and the pole will spontaneously combust,” she said. “So it’s a naturally occurring phenomenon in the utility industry.”

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