ATC sends what mayor calls ‘wholly inadequate’ response about substation fire investigation

The company responsible for the July substation fires is responding to the Madison mayor’s calls for more information to be released about the investigation.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway sent a letter Thursday to the American Transmission Co. demanding that company officials release the full investigative report into what caused a transformer to blow at the Blount Street and East Campus substations.

The company sent a letter to Rhodes-Conway Friday offering to meet and answer any questions she had. However, Rhodes-Conway called the company’s response “wholly inadequate” and told News 3 Now that she believed the public deserves answers as much as she does.

ATC has said an inspection of the transformer days before the fire revealed a problem with the equipment that needed further review.

“My question is if they knew for the three days before the explosion that there was a problem, why didn’t they preemptively take this thing offline when they know that it is in downtown Madison right next to a gas station, right next to a bunch of other electric infrastructure?” Rhodes-Conway said.

A spokesperson for ATC said the company has canvassed its fleet of transformers, looking for the same make and model and looking for similarities to the Blount transformer.

The spokesperson said a new transformer was installed in the substation and the company hopes to have it in service by mid-October.

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