Firefighters responded to a fire at a Modesto Irrigation District substation at Briggsmore Avenue and Claus Road on Thursday morning.
The fire was reported about 5:15 a.m., Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said. It started with an explosion in a metal cabinet.
The equipment is full of mineral oil, which caught fire, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.
“The rest of the substation is energized, so we don’t want to introduce any water,” Patino said. Firefighters tried to put the blaze out using dry chemicals but were unsuccessful.
MID officials were on the scene, consulting with firefighters.
“We determined that the best option is to allow it to burn out and then cool down,” Patino said.
No injuries were reported, and there were no reports of power failures.
The cause of the fire had not been determined, MID spokeswoman Melissa Williams said in an email.