Power pole fire causes major BART delay during commute

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By Bay City News Service

PG&E officials said a power pole caught fire Monday evening near the BART tracks in Hayward because of a flashover, which occurs when residue on power lines catches fire in the rain.  

The fire prompted a response by Hayward firefighters and at about 5:30 p.m. the South Hayward BART station was closed because power lines near the fire posed a threat to the BART system.

Hayward Fire Department spokesman Capt. Don Nichelson said the power lines could have hit the BART tracks or a BART car. 

The South Hayward station was closed and BART shut off power to the system in the area after firefighters requested it.  

The station closure caused a major delay on BART during the evening commute. Northbound trains from Warm Springs turned back at Union City and southbound trains turned back at the other Hayward station. 

The South Hayward station reopened at about 6:20 p.m. 

PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi said the fire also caused a power outage, which at its height affected about 2,800 customers.