TECO Pole Fire Compounds Morning Rush Hour

Hillsborough Avenue between Florida and Armenia avenues was closed Thursday morning, shifting commuters to alternate routes throughout Central Tampa.

A TECO utility pole caught fire shortly before 7 a.m. today at the intersection of Hillsborough and Rome avenues as the morning rush hour started to mount. 

Tampa police closed the intersection shortly after 7 a.m., and eventually all of Hillsborough Avenue between Florida and Armenia avenues while TECO crews worked the site. Diverted traffic caused extra heavy volume on local roads, including Florida, Sligh, and Central avenues, plus Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Interstate 275. 

TECO spokesperson Cheri Jacobs said, "We had to shut off the power to about 1,200 customers for about 10 minutes," as the crews worked on replacing the damaged pole with a new one. As for the cause of the fire, Jacobs said, "It is likely a piece of equipment (on the poll) was damaged from the lightning storm last night." 

Hillsborough Avenue was opened up shortly after 11:30 a.m. 

Margaret Shepherd March 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Sorry, Michael, but I'm going to have to say: "My mom made me do this." I don't think TECO deals with many "polls" but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one of their "poles" caught fire.
Michael Canning March 22, 2012 at 09:42 PM
You haven't heard that TECO has gotten in to the supervisor of elections business? Actually, no. We thank Margaret Shepherd (and her mom!) for pointing out our error. It serves to remind how much we rely on our cherished readers for everything from news tips, to comment posts, to catching our mistakes and helping us stay current.


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