UPDATE: Power issues occur after a fire at the substation on Virginia Tech's campus; matter resolved

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People in Blacksburg experienced lights dimming and flickering, but AEP says no one ever fully lost power.

But because so many people called in the issue, it registered as an outage, and customers received a mobile alert.

According to AEP around 7:30 on Tuesday night, a piece of equipment which helps regulate voltage caught fire.

AEP says it would have caused an explosion, something a student here at Virginia Tech describe after walking by the building when it happened.

"Just from behind me I could see the sky light up, it was a bunch of different colors. I thought it was fireworks, but it sounded too loud to be fireworks so I turned around.", junior Kelsey Vick said.

"A few seconds later there's another explosion and that's when I saw it directly, and then I saw a big plume of smoke and I started walking towards it and then a few minutes later, there's cops, firefighters, and then a third explosion."

Issues have been resolved, and all emergency crews have left the scene.


According to their website, Appalachian Power says over 6,000 customers are without power in Blacksburg.

Neal Turner, Montgomery County's Emergency Management Director says that a transformer blew at the Powerhouse at Virginia Tech.

Officials say this caused a minor fire and set off many emergency alarms across Blacksburg.

The blown transformer has caused roaming blackouts that officials say may last for a couple of hours.