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Downtown Elgin electrical fire leads to outages, crash

Updated: June 25, 2011 12:31AM

ELGIN — A high-ranking Elgin firefighter was involved in a car crash Monday afternoon on his way to an electrical fire that knocked out power to parts of Elgin’s north side, according to police reports.

Smoke began pouring about 3:30 p.m. from an electrical vault under the street at the busy intersection of State and West Chicago streets.

City spokeswoman Sue Olafson said the fire department’s battalion chief on duty, Tim Michaels, was in a command car responding to the alarm when the car collided with another vehicle at State Street and Tollgate Road, about two miles north of the fire.

No one was injured in the crash, however, Olafson said.

By 6 p.m., Fire Lt. Hollis Miller said a ComEd crew had shut off power to the vault involved and company officials were awaiting the arrival of a repair crew specially trained to work in tight, confined underground spaces.

A ComEd spokeswoman said it was not clear how many customers’ electrical service had been interrupted or whether the service had all been restored.

Miller said that even though the vault is located near the center of Elgin’s old downtown, the snafu seemed to have interrupted service in places such as the industrial parks along I-90 and Davis Road.

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