Transformer bursts into flame-West Des Moines apartment catches fire

posted by Sue Danielson and Gary Barrett - 

(WEST DES MOINES, Iowa)  First a transformer burst into flames...then flames were seen on the outside of a West Des Moines apartment complex Thursday.

Fire fighters were called out today (Thursday) to the Olde English Apartment complex in the 12-hundred block of Office Park Road just south of I-235, after an electrical fire that spread to a building.  

West Des Moines Fire Marshall Mike Whitsell tells WHO Radio News one building had to be evacuated. There are no reports of injuries.  Whitsell says contractors were digging a trench behind the building, then noticed the electrical transformer behind them was on fire.  

As quickly as they evacuated the trench, they noticed flames on the side of the building.

Mid-American Energy shut off power to the building so that firefighters could battle the blaze.  At the time, Whitsell says crews were finding smoke permeating first floor apartments and "electrical boxes were on fire".  Noone was injured and everyone was evacuated.

The apartment manager, according to Whitsell, was seeking housing accomodations for those who were affected.

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