A 20-block section of Southeast Washington, including a dialysis treatment center with nine kidney patients on machines, suffered an hour-long power failure Tuesday night.

The outage in the Capitol Hill area was caused by a fault in a feeder cable at the Buzzard Point electrical substaion, according to John Grasser, a spokesman for the Potomac Electric Power Company. He said a "couple thousand people" probably were affected by the failure.

A police station at 500 E St. SE, a subdivision of the First district, turned to flashlights, posted a man outside the station house to watch for burglars and sent a crew of men out to shut off electrical burglar alarms triggered by the outage and energized by their won internal power source.

Lt. Edward Spurlouck said there were no prisoners in the station's cell-block at the time.

Spurlouck said officers investigating two shootings in the area used radio communications before taking their prisoners to police headquarters.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Renal Dialysis Center, 733 8th St. SE., said patients on the cleansing machines at the time would have to return to complete the last three hours of their five-hour treatment sessions.

The Pepco spokesman said the broken cable should be fixed within the next two days, depending on whether conditions. The area now is being served electricity from a substation at 1125 G St. SE.