Explosions rocked a housing estate in the Black Country as overhead cables struck trees causing power cuts to more 35,000 homes.
Residents in Dudley were left terrified as the cables running behind their homes sagged due to the heat.
One of the lines connected with a tree causing the first explosion and branches to catch fire yesterday afternoon.
Just minutes later there was a second loud bang as the shorting out of the first cable caused another to sag due to the increased electrical load. This hit another tree – causing that one to set alight.
Police, fire crews and workers from Western Power Distribution were called to Kenilworth Court and Scotts Green Close at around 1.50pm. They immediately isolated the power so repairs could be carried out.
Power cuts were reported in Dudley and Lye following the explosions. Householders at 12 addresses in Kenilworth Court and a further 10 in Scotts Green Close were told to remain in their homes as a precaution.
Fire crews said tree fires had “burned themselves out” and they did not need to take any action to extinguish the flames.
Repairs were carried out and the power restored to properties across the area by 2pm.
Contractors were called to the scene to cut down the tops of the trees to prevent it happening again. No-one was injured in the explosions.
Police set up a cordon around a section of Scotts Green Road and the Kenilworth Court as youngsters from the nearby Holly Hall Academy left school for the day as a precaution.
Resident Peter Brown said he had been sitting in his garden when the first explosion took place.
“The tree is very close to my back garden. At first it sounded like someone had started a garden strimmer then there was a loud bang,” he said.
“It was absolutely terrifying. I immediately called the power company. As they arrived there was a second explosion.
“Thankfully no-one was hurt and there was no damage to homes in the area.”
Watch commander Roy Whitehead, of Brierley Hill Fire Station, said: “We told residents to stay indoors just as a precaution. We did not need to do anything to extinguish the tree fires as they burned themselves out quickly.
“Once everything was sorted out we knocked on doors and told people it was safe to come outside again.”
Spokesman for Western Power Distribution, Pammi Mandair, said: “We dispatched workers out there quickly to establish what had happened.”