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Another one bites the dust Monday, June 25, 2007

A squirrel lies dead on a transformer atop a power pole in NW Portland Monday morning. Local residents were awakened with a bang June 25 when the animal apparently caused an explosion at about 6:30. A PGE crew was on the scene within an hour.

I woke up i
n rather a hurry this morning, when I heard a loud bang and saw a bright blue-yellow flash outside. I knew instantly that it had been an explosion of some kind.

Adrenaline pumping, I peered out my window, but could see nothing. So I put my glasses on and looked again. There was a bit of bluish smoke in the air to the northwest, the only direction I can see from that window.

The noise seemed to have come from a bit up NW Flanders St. from my apartment. I went into my living room for a different view. I saw a couple of pedestrians walk down Flanders without any unusual reaction.

Then I noticed a dead squirrel on top of a transformer that hangs not 50 feet from—and almost level with—my bedroom. It looked pretty fresh and I couldn't remember seeing it before. Upon further inspection I could see that the switch leading to the transformer was disconnected. The power was still on in my apartment, but surely someone was left in the dark.

Naturally, I grabbed my camera and took a few photos. Then I called PGE (whose emergency number—503-464-7777—is surprisingly difficult to find on their website), and they had a truck out working on the problem within 45 minutes of my call.