Electrical service was restored early Sunday morning to more than 3,000 area residents who had been without power since Saturday morning.
Steve Johnson, manager of the KPL Gas Service in Lawrence, said this morning that service crews restored full power to residents in Tonganoxie, Oskaloosa and McLouth about 6 a.m. Sunday, which was earlier than the company's self-imposed deadline of 10 a.m.
A large fire in an electrical transformer late Friday caused the mass outage, Johnson said. Johnson said the cause of the fire, which "totally engulfed" the transformer, remains unknown. Firefighters from the Tonganoxie rural and city fire departments extinguished the fire, he said.
The 15-by-8-foot, 3-ton transformer is in a power substation about three miles northwest of Tonganoxie, he said. It was destroyed by the fire about 11:45 p.m. Friday.
While service crews were attempting to restore the power, KPL rotated available power to affected areas in hourlong intervals. Johnson said the power was rotated because demand was so high. He said late Saturday evening that the extreme heat sparked a mounting demand for electricity to power residents' air conditioners.
Johnson estimated that "well over" 3,000 customers were affected by the outage.
The affected area included south-central Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, Johnson said.