Downed power line sparks fire, outage

LAWRENCEVILLE - A downed power line in Lawrenceville triggered a brief power outage to thousands on the coldest morning in recent memory Friday.

As temps dipped near the 12-degree mark, a high-tension line on Russell Road snapped, fell and caused small fires in woods on both sides of the roadway - and a natural gas leak to boot, officials said.

Firefighters, dispatched at 5 a.m., controlled the fires, while police closed a portion of Russell Road between Pamela Kay Drive and Collins Hill Road and Georgia Power officials wrangled the downed wire.

Bonnie Jones, spokeswoman for Jackson EMC, said her company had to cut power to 4,000 customers serviced by the Collins Hill substation for roughly a half-hour. All customers were back on line by 9 a.m., she said.

No injuries, evacuations or property damages were reported.

Fire Department Capt. Thomas Rutledge said firefighters turned the scene over to the gas company about 12:30 p.m., when Russell Road was reopened.

It was unclear Friday what caused the power line to break.