Power line ‘boom’ causes downtown building evacuation

Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 @ 10:21 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 @ 11:48 AM

            Riebold building evacuated after power line 'boom'
Riebold building evacuated after power line 'boom'

UPDATE @ 11:48 a.m.:

Approximately 350 workers from Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County and Jobs and Family Services are expected to be sent home early after a power line short caused the Reibold Building to lose power this morning, according to officials.

Firefighters said an underground power line that services the South Main Street building shorted out and led to smoke filling the basement of the facility.

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A protection breaker stopped the electrical issue from reaching a transformer at the location, firefighters said.

Hundreds of employees were evacuated and are now being able to gather their personal belongings from the building.

Witnesses described hearing a “boom” when the power went out.

David Wright, District Chief, Dayton Fire, said when fire crews arrived on scene they found smoke in the basement. DP&L officials went inside the vault underground and discovered the line that supplies the Reibold Building had shorted out and caused insulation to burn.

Wright said the smoke from that traveled through the vault to the basement of the Reibold Building, triggering the smoke detector alarms.

“It’s very rare,” Wright said. “DPL provides all of our electricity with a high degree of efficiency but from time to time anything mechanical is going to go wrong.”

Wright said parts of the building are running on generator power while the service line is repaired. No time estimate for the repair has been made.

“There’s a fault detection device that did trip and de-energized the line,” Wright said.

Wright said the initial 911 call was for the power loss to the building. Employees are being let in to retrieve personal items.

The fire department is using electric-powered fans to move smoke out of the building.

In an emailed statement, DP&L said the electrical problem is within equipment that belongs to the building and not DP&L.

“When one of the building lines failed, our equipment de-energized the building, as it was designed to do for safety purposes,” the statement reads. “DP&L crews are working with building management and will restore power as soon as the problem has been resolved and it is safe.”

UPDATE @ 10:38 a.m.

Power is out to the Reibold Building and a crew from Dayton Power and Light has also responded to the scene.

A DP&L spokesperson said their crew is there to help find the cause of the power outage and make any necessary repairs.

We hear firefighters encountered smoke in the basement. They are working to ventilate the air and find the source of the problem.


The Reibold Building in downtown Dayton has been evacuated after a reported explosion from a nearby manhole cover.

Firefighters in Dayton responded at approximately 10:15 a.m. after the explosion was reported near the building, at 117 S. Main St.

We hear firefighters are searching the basement of the building pedestrians are being directed away from any manhole covers in the area.

We have a crew on the way to the scene of this developing story.

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