By Frank Lewis
Power in the downtown area was down for several minutes early Monday afternoon when a semi-tractor trailer rig struck a power pole on Fifth Street at the rear of Valley Wholesale Foods, tearing down the pole and leaving a live power line on the ground.
Portsmouth Police officers watched from a short distance away because of the live power line, and firefighters from the Portsmouth Fire Department watched awaiting arrival of American Electric Power workers to shut off the flow of electricity to the downed line.
Within minutes. however. the truck began to catch fire and firefighters responded and put water on the fire at the rear of the truck opening the back and going in to put more water on the fire.
Portsmouth Police had not talked to the driver as of about 2:15 p.m., leaving his identity yet to be determined.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.