What to Know
- A smoking manhole fire spewed a foul-smelling grayish haze into the air on the Upper West Side, freaking out the neighborhood
- Fire officials and cops responded to the scene near Broadway and West 64th Street Friday morning
- It's not clear what caused the issue; Fire crews said it was a Con Ed job; Two buildings were reported without power
A smoking manhole fire spewed a foul-smelling grayish haze into the air on the Upper West Side for at least an hour Friday morning, freaking out the neighborhood.
Fire officials and cops responded to the scene near Broadway and West 64th Street just before 10 a.m., then told News 4 the issue was a Con Ed problem. They "closed the job" a short time later, leaving the still acrid-smoke spewing hole cordoned off with yellow caution tape as cars flew by.
Before they left, fire crews at the scene told News 4 they were concerned the manhole "could blow." Con Ed told News 4 the issue involves an underground electric cable, though it's not clear if it's a feeder cable or one that supplies power to surrounding buildings.
Broadway between 63rd and 65th Streets were closed at midday, but by mid-afternoon two lanes on Broadway between this section reopened. However, 64th Street remains close.
Additionally, two buildings were reported without power, impacting 107 customers, according to Con Ed. There is no estimated time on when power will be restored, though the utility company did say it would be at some point Friday night.
There have been no reports of injuries.
People in the area earlier described hearing a boom. Footage streamed via the Citizen app showed grayish smoke spewing up from the street, and users chattered about an "explosion" that they quickly realized was a manhole fire.
According to Con Ed, underground cables somehow caught on fire and now need to be replaced.
An investigation is ongoing.