SHARON – A pesky squirrel is blamed for a downed power line leaving around 1,000 Penn Power customers — including several businesses — in the downtown Sharon area without power late Tuesday morning.

Keith Trice, a Quaker Steak and Lube employee, saw the sparks fly, literally, when the live wire fell to the ground at Railroad Street and Connolly Boulevard.

“I just got off work,” Trice said. “I saw it happen, this thing fell down. The next thing I knew, sparks were flying.”

When the live wire fell, it set off a ball of fire and caused a short-lived blaze that burned itself out.

The outage hit shortly after 11 a.m. when the power line fell across Railroad Street at the Connelly Boulevard intersection across from The Herald parking lot.

Sharon Fire Department blocked off part of Railroad Street until electric repair crews arrived to deactivate the live line. Crews replaced the line and restored power was restored around 1:30 p.m.

Downtown businesses in downtown Sharon were hit by a full or partial electric outages. The Lube had partial power but the restaurant opted to close until full service was restored.

The McDonald’s restaurant a few blocks away on West State Street was partially without electricity but its kitchen wasn’t affected so the business remained open.

Other businesses in Sharon City Centre plaza — including the Save A Lot grocery store and the state Fine Wine and Good Spirits store — were affected by the outage.

The utility reported another unrelated electrical outage in Sharon early Tuesday evening on Stewart Way affecting up to 20 customers, with service restored later Tuesday night.

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