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UPDATE: Residents allowed to move back in to apartments after electrical fire

(WSAZ)
Published: Jan. 13, 2016 at 11:13 AM EST
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UPDATE 1/17/16 @ 11:15 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Residents of Morris apartments are now able to move back in to their apartments after power has been restored after a cable, connected to the apartment's electrical room, caught fire underground, frying the power system and leaving the occupants of 85 units without heat.

Residents started moving back in to their apartments Saturday evening, just shy of the five days that was anticipated for power to be restored.


UPDATE 1/13/16 @ 11:35 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An unexpected burst of heat has left dozens of residents from the Morris Street apartment complex in Charleston out in the cold, when it comes to a warm place to stay.

AEP officials say a cable, connected to the apartment's electrical room, caught fire underground Wednesday, frying the power system and leaving the occupants of 85 units without heat during the coldest week of the winter so far.

"We've never had an outage of this magnitude." said Tom Minnich, who lives in the apartment complex.

When he heard about the outage, Minnich says he left work early to make sure he had time to come up with a plan for alternate housing.

"Get home, get your stuff and get out before it gets dark." Minnich said.

Tennant Mike Whiteford says he has been told by his landlord to prepare for at least five days without power.

"I assumed it would be taken care of quickly," Whiteford said. "I have a great apartment, I overlook the [Kanawha] boulevard and the [Kanawha] river and it's very scenic there, so I'm sure in the next five days I'll miss home."

Whiteford says he plans on passing the time by checking into a hotel.

Susan Wolf, on the other hand, says she plans on visiting family.

"I'm lucky enough to have my mom and my mom's home to go to," Wolf said. "There's a lot of elderly in this building, and it's worrisome they can't get around easily and a lot of them don't have family here."

Apartment management says they are working with the Charleston Fire Department and the Red Cross to determine whether or not a shelter is needed for the folks with nowhere else to go.

AEP officials say the fire caused damage to the building's equipment, as well as AEP equipment in the area.

Both parties will have to make some upgrades before power is restored to the Morris Street apartment building.

Crews with Appalachian Power say, as they work to fix the power lines, they may shut down one or both lanes of Morris Street -- between Virginia Street and Kanawha Boulevard -- in the coming days.


UPDATE 1/13/16 @ 3:30 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- People who live at an apartment building in Charleston could be without power for days after a power cable caught fire underground Wednesday.

According to a spokesperson from AEP a cable caught fire underground near the Morris Building on Morris Street. That cable leads to the building's electrical room. The fire also caught a nearby power pole on fire.

Jeri Matheney tells WSAZ the fire caused damage to the building's equipment as well as AEP equipment in the area.

Both parties will have to make some upgrades before power is restored to the Morris Building.

Matheney says the work is expected to take several days to complete.

There is 85 units in the Morris Building.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


ORIGINAL STORY 1/13/16 @ 11:13 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A busy street in Charleston is closed due to a power pole fire.

Right now, crews have Morris Street closed from Virginia Street east to the Kanawha Boulevard.

Emergency crews on scene tell WSAZ somehow an utility line caught fire and spread to a power pole. Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire.

A crew with AEP is on the scene working to fix the problem.

Crews say at some point one lane of Morris Street will reopen, but they don't have an estimated time.

No one was hurt, but some people in this area are without power.

Keep clicking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.