A Southern California Edison contractor died this week in a fire and possible explosion in an underground electrical vault in Huntington Beach.
The emergency in the 16200 block of Tisbury Circle -- reported at 12:17 p.m. Monday -- knocked out electrical service to about 350 customers, according to Capt. Bob Culhane of the Huntington Beach Fire Department.
As of 4:30 p.m., coroner's investigators had not been able to reach the victim, said Culhane.
"We won't make entry until conditions are safe," he said, adding that it took until about 2 p.m. for Edison employees to confirm that electricity had been cut to all circuits in the vault.
No other injuries occurred, he said. A Cal/OSHA investigator was sent to the scene.
A SCE spokeswoman confirmed the death and expressed condolences to family, friend and co-workers of the man killed. His name was unavailable late Monday afternoon.
According to Culhane, a crew of five from Cam Contractors Inc. were on the job when the fire started, but only one man was inside the vault. It was unclear if an explosion occurred or if arcing electricity started the fire, Culhane said.
Arriving firefighters reported thick smoke pouring from the vault.
The fire happened during a planned, five-hour outage. It was unclear when power would be restored in the area.
—City News Service.