On Hottest Day of Year, Fire Knocks Out Power at The Bridge Homeless Shelter

The hottest day of 2018 was a bad day for a power failure at The Bridge homeless shelter in downtown Dallas.

A power transformer burst into flames shortly before 4 p.m. in a parking lot near the shelter in the 1800 block of Corsicana Street, authorities said.

There were no injuries, but with temperatures hovering around triple digits, the shelter had to transfer its guests from its suddenly stifling facility to The Stewpot, another downtown shelter.

About 250 occupants and 12 dogs were evacuated from the shelter, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

Initial repairs might be completed by late Sunday morning, said Sam Merten, chief operating officer of The Bridge.

“But then there’s going to be additional damage to our system, which may take another two to three days,” he said.

Merten said the shelter is working with its partners, including the city, to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

“Fortunately no one’s going to go without shelter, which is always important but particularly important when it’s this hot outside,” he said.

The fire never reached the shelter itself, Evans said.

The temperature at Dallas Love Field reached 101 around 6 p.m. Saturday. That’s a bit warmer than the 98-degree high at DFW International Airport, the official recording site for Dallas-Fort Worth.

But it’s the heat index that really matters, and that reached a scorching 108 for Love Field and 105 at DFW. At Fort Worth’s Meacham International Airport, the mercury hit 102 and the heat index was 10 degrees higher.

Despite the sizzling temperatures, a cold front threatened to bring some isolated storms to the area starting Saturday afternoon, but most were forecast to hit around the Denton area and points north.

The good news is that our first big blast of seasonal heat should be followed by a cool-down. But no need to pack a sweater on Sunday when temperatures are expected to dip to 92. Some areas might even top out in the high 80s, according to the National Weather Service.

Extreme heat is nothing new here, and the Salvation Army is prepared, as usual, opening 13 cooling stations across North Texas to provide cold water and air conditioning to anybody at risk of heat exposure.

The Harry Hines Boulevard and East Lancaster Avenue locations will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eleven other stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. weekdays.

SOURCE: Dallas Morning News