Video: Electrical Fire Shuts Down Businesses in Downtown Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — An electrical fire broke out behind the Trotter Convention Center Saturday afternoon, creating a chaotic situation for those inside the Trotter and for local businesses. 

Columbus Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Mark Ward says putting out the fire was a team effort.

“We had to get Light & Water up here before we could put the fire out to kill the power to it so it’d be safe for us to put the fire out,” says Ward.

Retailers on 5th Street were open for business as usual but soon found themselves in the dark and powerless.

“Well we just lost half of everyone that’s in our shop. It’s definitely going to close us out for the day. So I’m looking at profit loss for 3 hours on my busiest day of the week,” says Coffee House on 5th owner Brent Davidson.

Officials say the transformer will be replaced but estimate that power could be out the entire weekend.

“If the power stays out and I can’t move all of my frozen product and refrigerated product, then I’m looking at several hundred dollars in loss so it could be potentially really bad,” says Davidson.

The Trotter Convention Center also lost power. Shell Richardson was hosting a retreat for young girls when the fire broke out.

“They panicked at first and then they calmed down. They saw that the fire wasn’t really close to them so they all congregated underneath the tree. They’re out here playing and talking to each other,” says Richardson.

Even a wedding was abruptly postponed due to the fire and power outage.

“The only thing I was thinking about was my daughter and my future son-in-law. Getting everybody out, getting everybody safe, ” says Arthur Blair, Jr, the Father of the Bride.

Trotter officials say they hope to get generators up and operating so the wedding can proceed. Officials believe the transformer may have been leaking oil and it was simply time to replace it.

The fire was put out in about an hour and no one injuries were reported.

Categories: Local News

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