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Failed electrical transformer blamed for Norwalk natural gas line fire

A faulty electrical transformer caused a wire to arc and burn through a natural gas pipe, sparking a fire in Norwalk on Wednesday afternoon that forced nine homes to be evacuated, according to the utility serving the area.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which started shortly after 2 p.m in the 13300 block of Flatbush Avenue, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The electrical transformer was on a pole and sent electricity to the grounding system wires on the street, which caused the electrical arc that burned through the 3/4-inch metal pipe, said Raul Gordillo, a spokesman with the Southern California Gas Co.

He said the problem was repaired shortly before 4 p.m.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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