Electrical Fire Under Sidewalk Forces Evacuations in Queens: FDNY

More than a dozen homes were evacuated and as authorities responded to an electrical fire under a Queens sidewalk Thursday, authorities say.

"We heard some explosions, and then you could see the fire coming out of the sidewalk," said Astoria resident Carlo Lari. "You actually saw it coming closer toward this house, and that's when they told us, 'You should leave.'"

Video shows flames shooting up through a manhole on 36th Street between 23rd and 24th avenues, then spreading to parts of the street after some underground electrical wires had caught fire. 

As Con Edison investigated if gas was fueling those flames, electricity and gas were turned off to the homes as a precaution. About 200 people were told to leave their homes. 

After the electrical fire was out, firefighters went from home to home to checking carbon monoxide levels. 

"We took readings in all the homes and we weren't getting any carbon monoxide readings being pushed into the streets from the homes," so residents were allowed back in, said FDNY Battalion Chief James Maloney. 

Power and gas were restored to everyone by Thursday night, and Con Ed crews were still on the scene working on repairs underground. 

No injuries were reported.  

Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.

Contact Us