MESA, AZ - A transformer at a Salt River Project facility in the East Valley is burning, sending a plume of black smoke into the sky.
SRP now says 80,000 customers are without power in Mesa and Apache Junction due to the fire this afternoon.
Employees have been evacuated from the East Mesa Service Center near University Drive and Sossaman Road in Mesa, according to fire department spokesman Forrest Smith.
Power was shut off to nearby transformers. A truck arrived at the scene and began spraying foam onto the flames just before 1:25 p.m.
SRP spokesman Scott Harelson told ABC15 a transformer exploded and what is burning is mineral oil used to cool the transformer. He said the oil is not toxic and will not pose a health risk.
One ABC15 viewer wrote that he heard an explosion from his office on Main Street and Sossaman Road, about a mile away.
Air15 video showed a thick black plume of smoke pouring from the transformer along heavy flames. It appears a nearby trailer has also caught fire.
Stay with ABC15.com and ABC15 for updates.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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