Transformer Oils Feed UK Fire

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A large quantity of transformer oil blazed more than 10 hours at a power substation in Harlesden, a suburban town in the London borough of Brent, on Thursday.

It was a National Grid transformer, containing transformer oil, that was completely damaged by fire on Christmas Day, a London Fire Brigade spokeswoman told Lube Report yesterday. Its still ongoing so weve still got machines down there, and were monitoring it. The transformer has to cool down before it can be declared safe.

She said the fire brigade initially sent six fire engine pumps to the fire and about 30 to 40 fire fighters. Its quite a large fire if we send six pumps, the spokeswoman added. No injuries were reported, and the cause remains under investigation.

According to a Dec. 29 report in the Harrow Observer newspaper, more than 120,000 liters (U.S. 31,700 gallons) of transformer oil went up in the flames, and it took more than 10 hours to bring it under control.

Transformer oil is usually a highly-refined mineral oil that is stable at high temperatures and has excellent electrical insulating properties.

International electricity and gas company National Grid owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, and operates the system across Great Britain.

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