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Power Fully Restored After Fire At FPL Plant

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MEDLEY (CBSMiami) – Black smoke billowed out of a West-Miami Dade Florida Power & Light plant on Tuesday afternoon.

Chopper4 was over the scene near 6001 NW 70th Avenue.

Miami-Dade Fire said a transformer somehow caught fire, prompting the massive blaze around 4 p.m.  Crews fully contained the fire by Tuesday evening.

Transformer Fire At  FPL Plant 8/23/16
Black smoke billowed out of a West-Miami Dade Florida Power & Light plant on Tuesday afternoon. (Source: CBS4)

Roads in the area were temporarily shut down on NW 72nd Ave from 58th Street to 74th Street. Just before 5 p.m., traffic could be seen backed up for miles.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says the fire presented challenges to its crews.

"The challenges are the electrical component.  Obviously, it's not something small.  It is a big area to cover and dealing with the transformer itself with the fuel involved, it can complicate things, but fortunately, we had a nice, coordinated, professional plan of attack with Florida Power & Light," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.

FPL spokeswoman Marie Bertot said the fire caused an interruption in power for at least 10,700 Florida Power & Light customers initially.

Crews managed to fully restore electricity by 7:30 p.m.

"At this time it's under investigation.  I don't have the cause," said Bertot when asked about what sparked the blaze.

People who work nearby reported hearing a loud noise before losing electricity.

"All of a sudden the lights started flickering and then it went off," said Gigi Monasterio, who works nearby.

"It happened so fast.  I got scared and hit the ground.  You're lucky no one got hurt," said Michael Steadman.

Miami International Airport officials said the fire prompted a delay for a few minutes but then operations went back to normal.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. No one was injured in the blaze.

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