More than 360 businesses at the core of the Valencia industrial park were stripped of electrical power mid-afternoon Friday, when an electrical vault system in the area caught fire.
Shortly after 2:45 p.m., firefighters in more than a half-dozen vehicles responded to Avenue Stanford, near Avenue Scott, for reports of a vault fire.
“They reported seeing light smoke,” Inspector Sky Cornell of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
All but two of the responding firefighting units were cleared from the scene shortly after they arrived.
At about the same time, officials with Southern California Edison also responded.
“This was an equipment problem, specifically a faulty switch,” Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn said.
At least one firefighter at the scene reported flooding near the failed electrical system, according to one eyewitness to the response. Edison work crews were seen pumping water on Avenue Stanford.
“Initially, we had 364 customers affected, but right now we have 72 still without power,” she said at 4:40 p.m., noting power was expected to be restored by 6:30 p.m.
When the lights went out, employees emerged from the affected firms and gathered on the street.
The outage affected businesses in an area bounded by Avenue Scott, Avenue Stanford, Avenue Hopkins and Rye Canyon Road.
It also knocked out traffic lights at the intersection of Rye Canyon and Avenue Scott.
Santa Clarita Valley experienced two underground vault fires this past summer. While some of the vault system was underground Friday, the fire itself was above ground.
On June 26, an underground explosion suspected of being the result of an electrical vault fire near the Valencia Lanes bowling alley on Lyons Avenue left 2,230 customers of Southern California Edison without electricity, Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn said at the time.
A month later, an underground vault explosion in Valencia, on Creekside Road near Valencia Boulevard, left more than 640 people without power.
No one was hurt in any of the incidents.