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SUFFOLK -- One person is looking for another place to stay after a fire started in the electrical box of a home in Suffolk. The fire coincided with a major electrical problem in the grid which left the 300 block of Cedar Street without power.

According to a news release, emergency units responded to the call for a residential fire at about 9:30 a.m. When they arrived, they learned that three electrical transformers which service the area had blown at about the same time. A neighbor heard a loud noise, and after going outside to investigate, saw smoke coming from a nearby residence.

The neighbor was able to rouse the sleeping occupants, who were already out of the structure when firefighters arrived. The neighbor then used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the flames, which were confined to an enclosed porch where the electrical panel box was located. The wall where the panel was attached was also on fire. Another neighbor also joined in the effort to fight the flames.

Once on scene, firefighters took over from the civilians, also using fire extiguishers as the electrical box was still energized and water could have caused a short ciruit and made things worse.

Damage to the two-story residence extended to the upstairs bathroom. The occupant was unable to re-enter the home because of the damage and lack of electrical power, and is being assisted by the American Red Cross. We're told there were no injuries.

Dominion Virginia Power dispatched additional crews to determine what initially caused the transformers to blow and repair the problem. The 300 block of Cedar Street is expected to be without electrical power for several hours.

The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the incident.

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