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Thousands Lose Power After Mylar Balloon Hits Power Lines in Antelope

ANTELOPE -- Around 17,000 people in North Highlands and Antelope lost power Sunday.

“All I saw was flames and black," said North Highlands resident Kay Burns. "Everybody was running, the lights were out, people were stopped. It was really exciting.”

At Liberty Pizza, the oven and almost everything else shut down except the phones.

"That means we have to do everything by hand and we have to call back the orders and tell them that they either want to cancel the order or bake it at home," said employee Anastasiya Kistol.

Meanwhile, firefighters arriving at the scene were quick to discover the cause of all the chaos -- a Mylar balloon.

Their helium helps them float right toward power lines and their metallic finish can cause an arc and an outage. That’s why it’s the law in California that Mylar balloons can’t be sold without a weight attached to the bottom.

Balloons have been responsible for thousands of power outages in California, not to mention the potential fire hazard.

For Burns and so many other residents, it meant the better part of an hour without air conditioning on a day that reached 84 degrees by noon.