PG&E officials say a cat entangled inside a transformer bank at the Ashlan and West substation caused the widespread outage. The cat was electrocuted, while shutting down the power to thousands.
Students arriving to class Monday afternoon at Fresno City College almost couldn't believe their eyes. Classes were cancelled.
"I was like, wow that's weird. Like that the lights went out and I got happy," said Alexandra Contreras, F.C.C. student.
"There's definite jubilation with students when school is cancelled but there's also disbelief as well," said Cris Monohan Bremer, F.C.C. spokesperson.
After a half hour in the dark, college officials called off school for the entire day. Sixteen thousand students got a day off.
In the tower district another smaller blackout couldn't have come at a worse time for businesses like Piemonte's Deli.
"It was right in the middle of the lunch rush. We were getting ready to get busy. We had probably 15 orders. People were at the door and we had to lock it. The register went out and I'm not that good at math and I'm having to count things back and jipping people on their money but it worked out," said Janna Valenti, Piemonte's Deli.
Just minutes after the manager at H&R block got word business was way up, their computers were zapped, leaving them helpless for hours.
"We were having a really good day this morning. We did about four returns. We got a call from the district manager he said we're up 80 percent this year and then the power went out," said Virginia Paleo, H&R Block.
Many businesses used cash transactions since registers weren't working. Many were forced to turn away customers. In all, about 27,300 customers were affected. The cause of the tower district outage is unknown.