Hundreds in North Fayette, Homestead left without power on bitterly cold night



NORTH FAYETTE, Pa. - Nearly 800 people were left without power in North Fayette on one of the coldest mornings so far this winter.

Police said a blown transformer was to blame and it took crews about eight hours to make the repairs and restore power to those customers without electricity and heat.

Nick Leszunov said he woke up to a loud boom and looked out his window to see a utility pole on fire.

"We could see the fire. The woods just lit up and it was a good fire going on, so my wife at that time (said), call 911," Leszunov said. "I was afraid that if it got too cold my pipes would start to freeze."

The power was restored shortly after 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, some Homestead residents were also left without heat Wednesday morning after a leak froze gas meters.

“Not to have heat is really terrible,” Chuck Webb said after waking up at 4 a.m. and realizing the inside of his home was almost as cold as outside. “I just said, ‘Something’s wrong here,’ and I came downstairs, looked at the thermostat and realized it was about 51 degrees.”

Crews from Equitable Gas investigated the problem and found that water from a nearby break leaked into the main gas line underground. The moisture traveled to the gas meters and that, combined with the extremely cold temperatures, froze the meters.

The gas company eventually replaced the meters and wrapped them with insulation by mid-afternoon. After being without heat for about eight hours, the furnace at Webb’s house turned back on.

“I have it set at 80 or so. We’ll warm it up a bit and put it back down,” Webb said.