Power outage occurs after transformer explosion

Site was front of Barnsboro Baptist Church on Main Street

Mantua Township Fire Department. It is believed the recent explosion in front of Barnsboro Methodist Church on Main Street was caused by birds caught in a transformer.

Township residents and businesses on Main Street experienced a power outage on Oct. 7 that was the result of a transformer exploding in front of Barnsboro Methodist Church.

Fire Chief Brian Hauss said the explosion likely was the result of birds inside the unit. It caused oil to leak onto the grass and roadway of the church. Along with sparks from the transformer, the explosion caused a small fire that did not spread to the church or nearby buildings.

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“Crews from Mantua Township Fire District responded, and upon arrival, found an oil-fed fire, impinging on the front of the church,” Hauss explained, adding that the blaze was extinguished with a foam concentrate from a Texas company called Williams Fire & Hazard Control.

Once the fire was under control, Atlantic City Electric crews helped restore power to the affected area. Gloucester County HAZMAT inspected the scene while the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified of the use of specialized foam to suppress the blaze. Main Street was closed to traffic during the cleanup.

Oil from the transformer did not spread any farther than the driveway of the church, meaning it didn’t enter any storm drains, which were closed off. And there were no runoff issues at the fire scene. 

Atlantic City Electric repaired the transformer and a HAZMAT crew removed remaining oil. Both also cleared any hazardous materials at the scene.

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