Contrary to prior reports from a Mountain View Fire Department official, PG&E says that the loud "boom" heard by residents in the Monta Loma neighborhood in the early morning on Aug. 24, was caused by two fuses that blew after a tree limb fell on a power line; the noise was not caused by a power transformer exploding, according to an spokesman from the utility.
The branch fell from the tree and hit a line located in the 2400 block of Alvin Street, near its intersection with Victory Avenue at about 12:35 a.m., Jason King, a PG&E representative, said. The falling foliage resulted in a power outage that affected 49 customers.
Jaime Garrett of the Mountain View Fire Department initially reported that a transformer had exploded, causing a loud noise that was heard by people living in the vicinity of the power line. However, King said, no transformer was damaged in the incident.
Eric Getter, who lives in the Monta Loma neighborhood wrote in an email to the Voice that a "huge boom" drew him and "close to a dozen of (his) neighbors out of bed and into the street" where they all scanned the horizon for flames.
According to Getter, a colleague of his, who lives about two miles from his home also awoke at the sound of the transformer explosion.
King suggested that the sound heard by Getter's co-worker may have been caused by something else. While he acknowledged that the fuses may have made a loud noise when they blew, he was dubious that the sound produced would have traveled two miles.
There was no equipment malfunction, King said, adding that the fuses did what they are designed to do: they cut off power and prevented an electrical surge that could have damaged a transformer or caused other electrical damage.