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Power surge causes transformer fires in Waltham

An electrical power surge in Waltham on Saturday afternoon sparked dozens of transformer fires, released smoke into buildings, and caused light signals to fail, according to city officials.

Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Capello estimated firefighters had been summoned to at least 60 residences and businesses for issues related to the power surge, beginning at about 2 p.m. Calls for assistance began to slow at about 6:30 p.m., he said.

A home also caught fire on Main Street, Capello said, though investigators haven’t determined whether the electrical surge started the blaze.

Eversource, which provides electricity to more than 29,000 customers in Waltham, said in a statement that its substations on Pine and Main streets experienced “a high voltage and equipment issue.”


The cause is under investigation, the statement said.

At about 11:30 p.m.., the outage map on Eversource’s website said there were 162 customers in Waltham without power.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at Follow her @lauracrimaldi.