Update: 7:45 a.m.
Power has been restored to the entire UH-Manoa campus and classes are proceeding as usual, according to an announcement from the university.
Honolulu Fire Department personnel battled a large fire at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s lower campus Thursday evening.
The university confirmed that the fire occurred at a HECO substation on Kalele Road outside Les Murakami Stadium.
Witnesses report having heard a loud explosion prior to the fire. Thick, black smoke was visible from miles away.
HFD responded to the 6:47 p.m. emergency call with eight unit staffed by 31 personnel.
Consulting with HECO crews, firefighters determined that there was a maximum of 3,000 gallons of oil within the transformer.
HFD obtained class-B foam from the state Department of Transportation Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting units, which they used to suppress the fire as it burned itself out.
HFD spokesperson Capt. Scot Seguirant called the department’s work on the fire “a good stop,” as firefighters were able to contain the fire to just one of two side-by-side transformers. They also kept the fire from spreading to adjacent structures on either side of the open-air substation.
No injuries were reported.
“It may not look like it, but things could have been a lot worse,” Seguirant said.
The fire triggered a power outage that affected more than 3,300 customers were without power in the Diamond Head, Kapahulu, Lower Punchbowl, Makiki, Manoa, Nuuanu, Punchbowl and St. Louis areas earlier Thursday night.
Electrical service to all areas except portions of UH-Manoa was restored by 8:40 p.m., according to HECO.
Most of the student housing facilities are still without power. A dining hall has been left open for students affected by the outage and lights are also being set up in the central courtyard until full power comes back on.