FORTY-two homes have had their power restored - more than 18 hours after a fire in an electricity substation.

More than 2,000 homes were plunged into darkness at 7.03pm yesterday when fire broke out at the substation off Manor Green, Kemp Town.

Power came back on within minutes only for 1,698 homes to lose supplies again at 7.18pm, continuing well into the evening.

By about 11pm last night 518 homes were still without power as engineers from UK Power Networks battled to restore the supply.

A spokesman for the company said this afternoon: "I’m pleased to report that the final 42 customers affected by last evening’s Manor Road fault had electricity supplies restored at 1.06pm.

"Engineers have been working through the night and into today, restoring supplies to 119 customers at 1.40am, 88 at 1.55am, 72 at 2.09am, 79 at 5.55am and another 110 at 6.21am.

"We appreciate how difficult it can be to lose electricity and hope to restore supplies to the final customers in the next few hours."

Firefighters were called to the substation shortly after 7pm but had to wait until the electricity was isolated before they could begin to fight the fire.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known but it is not being treated as suspicious.

Homes in the immediate area were evacuated as a precaution for about two hours last night in case of an explosion.

Bridget Harrison, 71, who lives with her son Michael Harris, 43, in Manor Green, said last night: “There was black smoke coming up from the station so they told us to get out of our bungalows in case there was an explosion. They taped it all off.

"Our concern is about the ones who live on the street who are disabled."

She added: "We are all moaning about missing the soaps but now we’re concerned about the food in the freezer, and the gentleman down the street is worried about his tropical fish tank.”