Update on Pennswood Village Power Outage 12/15/2017
9:45 a.m. December 15, 2017. On Thursday afternoon, December 14th, at approximately 2:30 p.m. a fire was detected in Pennswood Village’s emergency site generator. Emergency services were immediately called. Due to the fire, all electrical power to the campus was disrupted as our power supply from PECO comes in through the site generator. There was limited emergency power provided by generators in our Skilled Nursing Residence (Woolman House) and the Passmore Center, which houses our fitness areas. The site generator is located away from campus buildings so thankfully there were no injuries as a result of this fire.
The Middletown Township Fire Marshall was on site very quickly to help assess the situation. Once the fire was extinguished, which took several hours due to the hazardous conditions, PECO and other high voltage electricians were able to assess the damage and determine next steps to restore electrical power.
We were informed that there was a possibility that electrical power could be lost for the remainder of the night and possibly for several days. Since the temperatures were dropping rapidly as evening approached, the Fire Marshall made the determination that we should evacuate our apartment residents and find overnight accommodations. The George School Library was used as a gathering point where residents were kept warm and dinner was provided. We were fortunate to have support from the transportation department at Woods School to assist getting residents to local hotels. Also, many Pennswood staff from all departments stayed behind to assist with the evacuation and to support our residents who were taken to Woolman House for the night.
While we hope that we never have to evacuate our campus, we believe the call by the Fire Marshall was correct. Concern for safety and security of our residents was paramount.
Later in the evening we were fortunate that power was restored. However, the Fire Marshall was not comfortable allowing residents to return. There remained concern about any possible electrical damage that may have occurred within our buildings as a result of the generator fire that could trigger subsequent fires. Staff checked all buildings and electrical panels and made inspections of all apartments throughout the night to be sure that there were no issues. The all clear was given early Friday morning for residents to return and we are currently working to provide transportation back to our campus..
We’d like to thank so many who have been helpful during this emergency situation, including all emergency personnel, George School, Woods Services, Attleboro, Chandler Hall, staff at local hotels, Pennswood Village staff, and especially our residents and their friends and families. I’m sure this list will grow exponentially as we return to normal operations and everyone returns to campus. We are grateful to everyone who has helped!