Hundreds of homes lost power just after 7 o’clock on Thursday (1st May) after thieves stole copper cables and then set fire to old substation in Jarvis Brook.
People in the area reported hearing a “loud bang”, and distinctive smoke clouds were seen above Farningham Road.
East Sussex Fire Service were called to fire at a disused building in Sybron Way. The building houses a transformer and an old electrical substation. Once the fire was out, firefighters noticed copper cables were missing. Sussex Police are treating the fire as arson.
Colin Barden, Head of Network Operations for UK in the South East, said:
It’s extremely dangerous to tamper with high-voltage electricity equipment. Those responsible have risked their lives, jeopardised others and disrupted people’s lives by interrupting electricity supplies. We work closely with the police and will press for the prosecution of anyone caught interfering with our electricity network.
UK Power Networks told CrowboroughLife that 556 customers lost their electricity supply, but that their engineers managed to re-route power supplies quickly.
383 customers had power at 8.11am, 54 customers at 8.34am and to another 100 at 8.57am. The final 19 customers had their supplies back at 12:48pm.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 0189 of 01/05.
Did you hear the loud bang or take pictures of the fire – email CrowboroughLife.