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4 trapped in elevators after fire causes power outage in Prescott Valley (video)

A transformer fire that knocked out power in many parts of Prescott Valley Wednesday morning also started a small wildland fire in the area.

Photo courtesy Kathy Fitz

A transformer fire that knocked out power in many parts of Prescott Valley Wednesday morning also started a small wildland fire in the area.

photo

Central Arizona Fire & Medical firefighters work to free people trapped in an elevator at the Prescott Valley Del Webb Center near the hospital during a power outage Wednesday. The outage was caused by a transformer fire in the 7500 block of Highway 69. (Photo by Richard Haddad/WNI)

A fire in a transformer at the M&I Windows and Doors facility in the 7500 block of East Highway 69 Wednesday morning caused a widespread power outage in Prescott Valley — which trapped four people in elevators.

Over 1,300 customers were initially affected as power went out around 10:30 a.m., APS spokesman Alan Bunnell said.

Traffic lights were out at intersections around town for a brief time.

Elevators at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s Del E. Webb Outpatient Center and the Yavapai Community Clinic were stuck between floors and Central Arizona Fire crews had to rescue two people from each of them, Division Chief Rick Chase said.

“They were able to use their key to open the outside doors (at the center) — there’s a special device we have — and, luckily, that elevator was only about a foot off the floor, so they just helped the people out.”

The other elevator was “several feet” from the floor, Davis said, and, the two people in it were a little more difficult to extricate, but they got out safely.

In all, the people were trapped in the elevators for about 30 minutes.

Firefighters didn’t put any water on the transformer fire, but waited for an APS crew to arrive, Davis said, and when a small transformer on a nearby pole ignited and caused a small grass fire, they were able to put it out quickly.

The fire was caught on video by Kathy Fitz; see dCourier.com to view the video.

Within an hour, APS had all but 42 customers back online as a result of re-routing power, Bunnell said, and, by 2:30 p.m., only one customer remained without electricity.

The area affected was from Lake Shore Drive to Fourth Street and Kings Highway to Bravo Lane.

Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy. Call him at 928-642-6999. Email him at sorr@prescottaz.com.