The rainy weather Wednesday afternoon couldn't stop downed live powerlines from igniting a fire in small piles of leaves at 516 Raritan Road.
The fire, in the block between Miele's Greenhouse and Zion Lutheran Church, was still smoldering at 3 p.m. while the Clark Volunteer Fire Department waited on standby for PSE&G to turn off the power to extinguish the fire. Clark Police closed the block to traffic.
Many homes in the area were without power from 2 p.m. until about 4:15 p.m. The power shutdown resulted in a loss of electricity at Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School and Carl H. Kumpf Middle School. Students at Kumpf were let out early; Hehnly students had already been sent home to accommodate a planned half-day for parent-teacher conferences. Parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled for tonight at Hehnly have been postponed.