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Fire shuts down Schott


Hints at danger to wider electrical system?



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December 21, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Last week, local fire crews were called to Schott Fiberoptics on Charlton Street for "some type of fire in a storage container."

But when they arrived, there wasn't much they could do, Deputy Chief Mark DiFronzo said.

By then, the company's outdoor electrical system was on fire, and "a lot of components melted and burned" as they waited for National Grid to arrive and shut everything down. Among the key devices destroyed were the firm's three main transformers, the devices that step the high voltage carried by the major region power lines down to what a local company (or household) can use safely.

In most cases, a transformer's demise is a local issue, knocking out power for a couple hours. In this case, it had wide ramifications.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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