A sidewalk grate fire that brought firefighters and utility crews to the Chelsea section of Manhattan Wednesday evening flared up again in sparks and black smoke, captured by NBC 4 New York cameras.
Police had closed off the area near 23rd Street and 7th Avenue, and when flames shot up from underneath the sidewalk grate, began sending pedestrians and media back, warning of potential danger.
The sizzle of electrified wires could be heard before bright orange flames briefly leapt up past the sidewalk and then thick black smoke started puffing out.
The area had been roped off after an earlier fire. Fire trucks and Con Edison workers were already on the scene, and an FDNY ladder truck poured water on it from above.
The building at 225 W. 23rd St. was evacuated as a precaution so firefighters could read carbon monoxide levels.
Con Ed and FDNY have been busy responding to hundreds of manhole fires and explosions in recent weeks. The utility says they're common this time of year because the salt used to treat icy roads corrodes underground wiring when it seeps below the surface.