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Downed power line eerily lights up Manitoba skies

Wednesday, October 23rd 2019, 7:30 am - Manitoba Hydro says the likely cause for Tuesday's fire is from a tree falling and hitting the power line

Bright flashes of red lit up the sky in North Kildonan on Tuesday night after a downed power line sparked a large fire near Devon Avenue and Roch Street.

Emergency and hydro crews were called to the scene around 9:30 p.m. and quickly shut off the power in the area to stop additional sparking and get the electrical line fire under control.

According to the City of Winnipeg, some people in the area were evacuated as a precaution, but no injuries have been reported and residents returned back home late Tuesday night.

CONSTANT RED FLASHING IN THE SKY

Quickly following the blaze, social media erupted questioning the "constant red flashing" in the night sky.

Robert Wintoniw, who lives two blocks away, told CBC News that the sky was "looking all weird."

"It was really eerie," he said. "You could actually feel it vibrating in the ground. You could feel it through your feet. And this super incandescent light, sparks and occasionally puffs of smoke...I've never seen anything like it before in my life."

Manitoba Hydro says arcing powerlines were the reason for the fire and the cause is likely from a tree falling and hitting the line. Earlier Tuesday, the City of Winnipeg had warned that strong winds were threatening the already vulnerable and previously storm-damaged trees in the area.

MUST SEE: Manitoba storm brings 70+ cm of snow for some

"There was some light rain falling a couple of hours prior to the fire as winds were gusting to 30-40 km/h," says Weather Network meteorologist Matt Grinter. "The winds were stronger earlier Tuesday morning, but still remained breezy well into the evening."

Past wind winnpeg

Trees across southern Manitoba remain weak in the aftermath of a potent snowstorm that hit the province over Thanksgiving. As tree branches cracked with the weight of the heavy snow, it took a toll on powerlines with storm costs rising above $110 million.

With files from CBC

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