About 70,000 customers were without power in northwest Fresno on Thursday after a fire briefly broke out at the Gregg Substation near Highway 99 and the San Joaquin River, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said.
The outage happened around 4 p.m. and affected about 70,000 customers at its peak, PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles said. Power was restored to all customers by 5:30 p.m., he said.
Fresno City College announced that it was closed because of the outage, canceling Thursday evening classes. The college was expected to be open Friday, spokeswoman Kathy Bonilla said.
At 5:35 p.m., customers heading into the Walmart on West Shaw Avenue were told the cash registers were down and power was not expected back for 45 minutes.
Cindy Perez, an employee at McDonald’s on Shaw and Highway 99, said her store had no electricity for around 45 minutes.
“We had to shut down the drive-through and get the remaining customers out,” Perez said. “Everything was shut down.”
For the duration of the outage, Perez said she and other employees stayed out in the front of the restaurant because the kitchen and area behind the register was considered a safety hazard due to all the electrical equipment.
Guru Singh, the cashier at a Chevron gas station at Shaw and Barcus avenues, said his store was without power for around 30 minutes, starting just before 4 p.m.
“When I see what happened – the lights, refrigerator, everything was off – I called my friend and said, ‘This is like India,’ ” Singh said. “If someone were to come and steal from me, the security camera would have been off.
“It’s not good,” Singh said.