Thousands lose power due to DTE substation fire

UPDATED: About 5,000 Farmington Hills DTE Energy customers north of I-696, between Orchard Lake and Haggerty Roads – including the Farmington Community Library – lost power early Monday afternoon, due to a fire at the company’s Drexel substation.

Both the Main Library at 12 Mile Road and the Farmington branch closed at 3 p.m. Monday, due to the outage.

Anyone who needs help with an electricity-dependent medical need should contact the Farmington Hills Fire Department at 248-871-2600.

Spokesperson John Austerberry said the company plans to re-route lines in order to get power restored as soon as possible. According to a DTE statement, there were no injuries, and no neighboring structures suffered damage.

“DTE personnel are working to restore customers,” the statement read. “We expect to have about 2,000 customers restored by 5:30 p.m. Another 1,000 customers should be restored by 8 p.m. The balance should be restored by 11:30. We understand how inconvenient power outages are for our customers and we appreciate their patience. Customers can get updates on outage restorations on our website ( and through the DTE Energy mobile app.”

The power company also suggested, due to the heat, that neighbors and family members should check on elderly residents who are without power. Additional suggestions:

  • Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.
  • During low-voltage conditions – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged.
  • Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days. Partially thawed food or food that has ice crystals usually can be refrozen.