Just after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 2, the electricity went haywire in the 2100 block of South El Camino Real in Oceanside, affecting 200–500 customers. Tenants in the Villa Office building at 2103 first noticed computer terminals popping off, randomly — not all at once — over a fifteen minute period.
Some office equipment wouldn't work, while some did. therapist in the building noticed his CD player wouldn't work, but his office's florescent lights worked fine, yet two incandescent table lamps gave off a dim glow. A copier worked, but a postage meter didn't. Internet service went down but phones systems and fax machines still worked. The building's elevator still operated between the three floors.
A call to SDG&E advised offices to unplug any electronic equipment. The outage affected the entire 2100 block, along with the Villa Camino Apartments in the 2000 block of Geneva Street.
Two SDG&E emergency repair persons were quickly going down the street pulling the tops off every in-ground junction box looking for a blown fuse. One of the repairman, when asked how some things could be working
fine and others not, stated that electricity in the main lines runs on three phases of wiring, each one fused. When one fuse blows, it reduces the power able to be transmitted by the other two.
The outage was supposed to last less than an hour. The original estimate was 6:00 p.m. By 6:15 p.m. the repair crews were only able to inspect half of the street, which contains eight multistory, office buildings.