Squirrel knocks out power to 1,700 customers in Menlo Park trapping two people in elevators
An explosion and a fire alarm Tuesday evening at 1275 Crane Street was followed by a broader power outage, with people calling out that they were trapped in an elevator.
Local residents on Crane Street told Fire Captain Seth Johnson that they heard a loud explosion, the power immediately went out in the area, and they found a Grey Squirrel lying in the gutter and smoldering.
Fire crews performed elevator rescues at both 1275 and 1331 Crane Street where each elevator contained a single trapped occupant. Both were freed within 20 minutes after the power went out and reported no further issues.
PG&E responded within 30 minutes, and power was restored to all 1,700 customers by just after 8:00 pm, including to some businesses in nearby downtown Menlo Park.
PG&E representatives believed the squirrel had tried to bite into the power line causing an electrical arch and explosion that knocked the power out and killed the squirrel.