A mylar balloon is being blamed for one of two fires in San Luis Obispo Wednesday afternoon that left thousands without power for hours.
The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department says a small fire was reported following a power outage near Johnson Avenue and Sydney Street shortly before 4:30 p.m.
Residents in the area reported hearing a large pop before the power went out.
People could be seen using fire extinguishers to help put out the flames before firefighters arrived.
Minutes later, a second fire was reported at the northern end of Flora Street.
Fire officials say a burned mylar balloon was caught in the wires and two others were found on the ground.
A transmission line was also snapped during the incident, officials say.
Both fires were approximately 25’ in diameter, according to the fire chief, and were controlled quickly.
By early Wednesday evening, the outage included the area along Monterey Street from Nipomo Street to Highway 101 on the east side of the city, and southeast toward the train station, including the areas around Mitchell Park, San Luis Obispo High School and French Hospital Medical Center. Nearly 3,000 PG&E customers were impacted.