Nearly 20,000 properties lost power after a fire broke out in an electrical sub station yesterday.
Firefighters were called out after a "large bang" and flames were reported at the facility in the Brunel Industrial Estate, Newton Abbot.
Two fire crews attended, but the blaze was out by the time they arrived. But firefighters then had to respond to four separate incidents of customers who were stuck in lifts in shops throughout Torquay and Newton Abbot as a result of the power cut.
In one incident, an elderly adult and two children were rescued from the lift in Marks and Spencer on the Willows, in Torquay.
Western Power Distribution (WPD) yesterday confirmed that more than 19,600 homes lost power as a result of the incident, which happened just before 11am. They were reconnected by 11.35am.
The WPD spokesman said the cause of the blaze may not be known until today. She said: "For safety reasons, we can't always go in and investigate straight away. We may have to wait until everything cools down. Our priority is always to get customers back on to the supply, and then carry out the investigation when it is safe to do so."