Bird's nest fire, down power line caused electrical fires at Cape Girardeau businesses

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - According to an Ameren spokesman, a bird's nest on a pole caught on fire leading to a downed power line on Route K around 10 a.m.

This caused alarms to sound near Eagle Ridge Schools on the west side of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Initially, 680 customers were without power but that has since has been restored, according to a spokesperson with Ameren Missouri. Less than 100 were out of power for two hours.

Cape Girardeau Fire officials said the issue caused several electrical fires in air conditioning units in stores like Lowe's, Kohl's and Cape West Cinema and Buffalo Wild Wings. Ameren Missouri said the incident is being investigated.

Fire officials said a major electrical line was down. People were evacuated from Kohls according to the fire department.

Buffalo Wild Wings opened at the new location last week, and manager Lonnie Griggs says he and his staff were preparing for a normal day when something seemed to go wrong.

"The fire alarm started going off of course because the power went out," he said. "There was a big power surge. we didn't know what it was. we thought we had a fire on the roof cause our alarm says there was a fire in the duct unit, which there wasn't thank God."

Glenn Cantrell works for the SEMO Electric Co-Op in Sikeston.  He says it's not uncommon for animals to interfere with electricity.  Line workers do keep an eye out for things that are out of the ordinary, but surprises do happen.

"Think about today and it's a perfectly clear day, blue sky day, and all of a sudden your electricity goes out," he said. "There's no storm. There's nothing going on what possibly could be the reason. Well, Rocky the squirrel got into our substation, got grounded, touched the wrong wire. Next thing you know, he's fried, and it shut off our circuit."

This one was not at a substation, though.

According to Sgt. Rick Schmidt with the Cape Girardeau Police Department was off of Route K.

He says the fire department was in control of the situation.

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