Power has been restored across downtown Providence after a squirrel got into equipment at an electric substation causing an outage that darkened city hall, federal and state courthouses, and businesses with thousands of workers.

Traffic lights were also out knocked out by Tuesday's outage, and fire crews had to respond to alarms throughout downtown, including in buildings where people were trapped in elevators.

The outage happened shortly after 10 a.m. and lasted until around 11:45 a.m. Around 4,500 customers were without power.

A fire official earlier said there was an explosion, but National Grid and Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said there was not.

National Grid spokesman David Graves says the problem started when a squirrel got into some equipment. Graves said it sounded like an explosion, but wasn't.

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