Tacoma, Washington – Thousands lost power after unknown suspects set fire to the Puget Sound Energy substation on Sunday.
The vandals are still at large.
“At 7:21 pm, on December 25th, 2022, dispatchers received a call of a fire at the Puget Sound Energy substation at 14320 Kapowsin Hwy E. Deputies, Firefighters and Puget Sound Energy employees responded to the scene. The fire was extinguished and the substation secured. Power was knocked out for homes in Kapowsin and Graham. The suspect(s) gained access to the fenced area and vandalized the equipment which caused the fire. There are no suspects in custody at this time.” the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.
“This is the 4th incident at a Power Substation in South Pierce County on Christmas Day. All law enforcement agencies in the county have been notified of the incidents and will be monitoring power substations in their area.” the Sheriff’s Department added.
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Thousands of residents were without power near Tacoma, Washington, after three electrical substations were vandalized, local authorities said on Sunday, adding that it was not yet clear if the Christmas Day incidents were linked.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said robberies were reported at two substations belonging to Tacoma Public Utilities and another belonging to Puget Sound Energy. Deputies cited forced entry into the fenced-in area, with equipment vandalized but nothing taken from the sites, it said. More than 14,000 customers were affected.
In east Piece County, about 2,700 people serviced by Tacoma Public Utilities remained affected midday on Sunday after an initial 7,300 residents lost power in the area, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Seattle, Tacoma Public Utilities said in a post on Twitter.
“We are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power,” it said, noting that its substations “were attacked” earlier on Sunday morning and that the incidents were reported to police.
Earlier this month a massive power outage in North Carolina was caused by two substations being damaged by gunfire on Saturday night, according to the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.
Over 40,000 people were left without power because of the criminal actions.