LAKE PLACID — Twelve homes on Algonquin Drive were without power for several hours on Sunday, Jan. 2, after a volunteer firefighter ran into an electrical transformer.
Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael St. Louis was responding to a fire call on the morning of Jan. 2 when his car slid down Algonquin Drive and hit the power transformer, knocking it partially off its concrete base, according to a report from the New York State Police Public Information Office. The accident was not reported to state police until 10:10 a.m., according to the report, and no ticket was issued for St. Louis.
State police said the crash happened around 2:30 a.m., but St. Louis said he was responding to a fire call at 1:45 a.m. when he slid off the road. The village electrical department was on the scene assessing whether or not the crash had caused a power outage in Algonquin when state police arrived after the 10:10 a.m. call.
St. Louis said Friday he was unaware he hit the transformer and that someone from Central Garage pulled him out of the snow bank after the crash. St. Louis said weather conditions were “crappy” and dark, with snow and freezing rain. He says he saw two phone booths in the snowbank near his vehicle, but avoided hitting them. He said his truck was not damaged.
Village Mayor Art Devlin said he doesn’t know if the transformer was damaged by the St. Louis vehicle hitting it or by the tow truck hook that pulled the vehicle out of the snow bank. , but that the accident had caused an oil spill from the transformer, resulting in approximately 4.5 gallons of oil escaping onto the surrounding area. He said a spill response team is needed to perform a cleanup if more than two gallons of oil is spilled, and a team has come to mitigate the problem. Devlin said Lake Placid Electrical Superintendent Kimball Daby estimated the total cost of the spill response and replacement transformer at around $10,000, which Devlin said would be covered by insurance. from the village.
Devlin said firefighter volunteers are considered village employees when responding to fire calls or attending the fire station, and those volunteers are covered by village insurance when actively working. for firefighters.
Devlin said St. Louis was not asked for a drug test after the accident because the incident was “ordinary – wasn’t even a reportable accident, really.”
Turn on the power
Daby said he was the one who reported the incident to state police. He said the fire station dispatch alerted the power department to a power outage that morning on Algonquin Drive after receiving several calls from customers saying they had no power. Daby said neither St. Louis nor the fire station reported the accident to the electrical department before the outage.
Daby said he was off duty that day and was unaware of the breakdown or accident until he received a text message at 9.06am this morning there of an electrical customer on Algonquin Drive asking when his power would be restored. Daby said he then called the duty person in electrical service at the time, who told him that electrical service had looked into the outage and left Algonquin Drive at 4:30 a.m. after seeing the lights come on . Daby said nine customers had power restored by 4:30 a.m., but three customers were still without power.
Daby said he then drove to Algonquin Drive and found a transformer had been hit and reported it to state police.
The electrical department replaced the transformer, according to Daby, but he said the original replacement transformer turned out to be faulty. The department then replaced that faulty transformer with a working transformer, and Daby said the three remaining customers had power at 1 p.m. that day, about 11 hours after it failed.