Transformer explodes, catches fire in downtown Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A transformer in a Nashville Electric Service substation blew and caught fire Monday afternoon in downtown Nashville.

It happened just off Main Street near Interstate 24 around 2 p.m., sending billows of black smoke into the sky. The smoke could be seen for miles across the city.

Joseph Pleasant, spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department, said the large transformer sat in an NES substation next to a parking lot for state employees.

Firefighters on the scene told News 2 say it only took 10 or 15 minutes to fight fire and then put out hot spots. Crews then applied FireIce, a non-corrosive, eco-friendly fire retardant gel that can handle up to 5,000 degrees.

It’s not clear what caused the transformer to blow at this time, but no one was injured.

Power was shut off in order for fire crews to put out the flames and NES crews to assess the problem. Roughly 1,500 were without power due to the explosion for a short period of time.

On Tuesday, NES returned to the area and began cleaning up and prepping the damaged transformer for inspection.

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