Telephone and 911 service was restored to parts of Elk and Clearfield counties on Wednesday afternoon after an outage caused by an early morning transformer fire in Jay Township.
Elk County 911 director Sherri Lovett said the fire at a transformer on Caledonia Road in Weedville, Jay Township, was first reported at 7:46 a.m. Wednesday.
The blaze resulted in damage to a Windstream Communications-owned fiber optic line, leaving Jay Township and neighboring Penfield in Huston Township, Clearfield County, without landline, cellphone, and 911 service for much of the day.
Scott Morris, senior advisor with corporate affairs at Windstream, said the fire started with a falling tree breaking power lines at the location and causing the transformer fire that burned the Windstream line. The owner of the transformer and power lines, as well as the impact on electric utility service, was not immediately clear.
By roughly 3 p.m. Wednesday, Morris said crews had restored service to the area by splicing the affected fiber optic cable.
Don Logan, manager of the Bennetts Valley Ambulance Association Inc., confirmed phone service was restored between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Wednesday and said he was unaware of any 911 needs that weren’t met as result of the outage.
Emergency radio service continued to work through the phone outage, prompting fire companies to post members at their stations, ready to radio for help or assist residents in need.
The Bennetts Valley Elementary School was given a radio to communicate directly with emergency dispatchers in an emergency.
“We stayed by the phone and the fire department had someone by the phone and Penfield took a radio over to the school so if they had a problem they could yell,” Logan said.