ANNAPOLIS Md. (WJZ) — A large fire at a used car repair shop caused delays around Annapolis Monday morning.
The fire broke out at the Annapolis Car Center on the 2000 block West Street near Gibralter Avenue around 6:30 a.m.
As the Annapolis Fire Department responded along with Baltimore Gas & Electric, large flames and smoke could be seen from a distance.
Neighbor John Jones said the fire woke him up. “We heard this loud boom,” he said.
“I told my wife, let’s get out of here,” Jones said. “At the same time, we saw the transformer start lighting up. And somehow one of the wires came down and came into contact with one of the vehicles. That’s when an explosion started taking place.”
Loud electrical pops and sizzles got the attention of arriving firefighters.
“Shortly after they arrived, they realized it was an electrical fire. They pulled back and awaited for BGE,” a fire official said.
BGE cut off the power around 7:50 a.m., while firefighters used foam to stop the blaze.
“In this situation, we were able to protect some of the cars, so it wasn’t a total loss for the business owner,” officials added.
The owner told WJZ the exact same thing happened five years ago. Like this fire, he lost a dozen cars.
Roads were closed as the live wire remained on the street.
Monarch Academy Annapolis was also closed due to the fire.
7:40 a.m.: Due to ongoing issues associated with fire on West Street, Monarch Annapolis will be closed for students and staff today (Feb. 3).
— AACPS (@AACountySchools) February 3, 2020
Despite what the witness saw, BGE officials said a transformer did not explode.
“BGE’s preliminary investigation indicates that a power line became displaced on West Street in Annapolis. This interrupted electric service to approximately 1600 customers and resulted in damage to the pole carrying the power line and property of the adjacent business,” the company said in a statement.
Power was restored to the area around noon, BGE said. The company plans to replace all of its equipment in the area.
Officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire.