Large Transformer Explosion

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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September 20th, 2022

A large fire broke out on the afternoon of Monday, August 9th, at a substation found in the 1700 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, MA. The fire was caused by a large transformer that exploded, creating a massive fireball and an extremely loud bang. The blaze usually would have been recognized as a two-alarm fire; however, due to the over 90-degree weather, it was evaluated as a three-alarm fire. Fire crews had to be refreshed and replenished often.

A fireball rises from the transformer and is seen from over a building in Lexington

Lexington Fire Department Chief Derek Sencabaugh said that “One of the 13,000 to 14,000-volt transformers exploded and obviously with the heat, it made for a tough fight”. 

Civilians said that it was frightening to hear the ear-piercing explosion and then see the large fire shortly after. Various streets were closed in the Lexington area during the containment of the fire. Additionally, approximately fifty customers who depended on the transformer for electricity had to be transferred to generator power overnight while repairs were completed.

A fire inside the property of the substation.

Thankfully, firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading elsewhere despite the heat. The cause of the transformer explosion is still under investigation. No power outages were reported near the area; however, damage on the scene is still being assessed by firefighters.

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that supplies loss prevention services. The FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 5-4 has undergone a complete revision since 2019. RLI engineers already inspect many buildings with transformers, and are familiar with these changes.

Inspections of fire hazards and fire prevention systems can minimize threats to businesses and people. Risk Logic can supply recommendations to keep your business as safe as possible. Information on transformer oil testing can prevent potential hazards and supply assessments that can help in preventing incidents like these in the future. Reach out to Risk Logic for an inspection of your facility today.