Transformer explosion sparks brush fire in East County

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Lakeside Brush FireLAKESIDE, Calif. — A transformer at an electrical substation exploded near some widely space homes in Lakeside Thursday morning, sparking a brush fire and knocking out power to more than 8,000 customers, authorities said.

The fire was reported on a sparsely vegetated hillside near Lake Jennings Park Road and El Monte Road at about 7 a.m. Engines and ground crews from Cal Fire, Lakeside and San Miguel fire departments quickly contained the blaze, which was being spread by wind gusts. By 8 a.m., the fire was surrounded and crews were tending to hotspots and flare-ups caused by the wind.

The fire never came close to structures, but the residents of one home that was potentially in the path of the flames were warned to get ready to leave.

San Diego Gas & Electric reported at least 8,395 of its Lakeside-area customers were without electricity due to the incident.