A mysterious power surge had dozens of Harveston residents calling 911 and spilling into the streets to direct fire crews to their homes late Friday afternoon.
Homeowners described a popping sound that set off smoke alarms and tripped electrical breakers, according to Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson.
While there were no reports of fire, many residents reported that smoke filled their homes and that their smoke alarms were damaged.
The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. in the Harveston community of Temecula, Hendrickson said.
Riverside County Fire Department crews set up a command center at Stowe Road and Booth Bay Drive in order to manage all the dozens of calls that came in reporting the electrical issue.
According to Southern California Edison spokeswoman Maureen Brown said that surge was a 30-second power interruption at 4:12 p.m., impacting over 2,500 customers in the Temecula area and another 560 in Murrieta.
So Cal Edison crews found evidence that the cause of the surge was a vehicle that had backed into two guy wires at Winchester and Murrieta Hot Springs roads in Temecula, damaging the surge protector and boosting the voltage.
Brown noted that the vehicle was not found at the scene.
“All power is currently on,” Brown added.
Roughly 30 to 40 homes that had experienced the damaged smoke alarms have been inspected by fire crews so far, according to Hendrickson.
No injuries have been reported.
Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor of Southwest Riverside News Network. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Joe Fanaselle contributed to this report.