Staff Writers Doug Spoon, Melissa Land and Kristen Spoon contributed to this report.
Southern California Edison and local authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion and fire today that killed an SCE employee and injured three others.
Jose Raul Ros, 38, of Winchester was working in an underground vault near the intersection of Murrieta and Ridgemoor Roads about 7 a.m. today, performing maintenance on an infrastructure improvement project, according to David Song, a spokesman for SCE. An explosion and fire at that location was reported at about 7:45. Firefighters arrived to find SCE workers trying to revive Ros, who died at the scene.
Three other employees who were injured were treated at local hospitals and released.
The fatality occurred near the Newcomb substation, where an incident of copper theft on Wednesday resulted in a power outage affecting more than 22,000 customers. SCE officials said today's accident is not related to that incident, however.
Ros, a distribution lineman, is survived by his wife and two young daughters. He was an employee at the company for 11 years.
"We are deeply saddened by today’s tragic event and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Ros’ family," said Ron Litzinger, president of SCE. "We are in close contact with the injured employees and counseling is being offered to those affected by this unfortunate accident."
SCE has launched an investigation into the accident and is working with other parties to determine its cause.
Murrieta Road was blocked off between Lazy Creek Road and Ridgemoor Road during the investigation and a power outage affected about 4,000 homes.