Cable and elevator services in Turrell still affected after weekend transformer fire

While other issues have been resolved, cable and elevator services in Turrell Manor have been affected by the transformer fire that occurred on Saturday night, according to an email sent to Turrell residents from Brian Hughes, Turrell’s residence hall director.

“We have notified the service providers for each system and technicians are responding,” Hughes said in the email. “Because this occurred over a weekend, however, cable service may not be restored until tomorrow, Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience these outages may present.”

According to Hughes, a possible cause of the transformer fire was a power surge caused by a lightning strike at “an unknown distance that traveled down the lines.” The fire was located in the transformer box on the pole in the corner of the rear parking lot above the dumpsters.

Hughes said Turrell residents were evacuated, and the South Orange Fire Department responded to the fire.

PSE&G workers responded Saturday night to make repairs to the affected areas at 11:45 p.m. which included cutting the power supply to Turrell, surrounding homes and traffic lights, according to Hughes.

Power has since been restored, according to Hughes.

Hughes also stressed the importance of using surge-protected power strips.

“Despite being well-protected, a PSE&G transformer was set on fire due to an unexpected voltage surge,” Hughes said. “Had that surge traveled down the lines that provide Turrell with direct power, it could have continued along interior lines to resident appliances (TV’s, computers, etc.) with similar results. When plugged into a surge protector, however, these appliances have an extra line of defense that can prevent their destruction and a possible apartment fire.”

Jessica Sutcliffe can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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