A fire apparently sparked by falling power lines in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn sent a ripple of panic down the street as responders worked to contain the blaze.
A burning power line is believed to have sparked the fire that spread to five buildings in the area of a 57th Street and 8th Avenue Monday afternoon. Several cars were also singed by falling wires.
"All the wires started to blow up," a witness said. "It sounded exactly like a firework."
Police rushed to get people out of nearby buildings as more than 130 FDNY firefighters and EMS responded. Fire officials believe an electrical power line on 57th Street sparked a fire inside a residential building, and the electricity traveled down the line to the corner, sparking the fire in the three storefronts.
One firefighter was seriously hurt, and four others had minor injuries from the fire, officials say.
Power was knocked out to about 100 customers as Con Edison repaired the damage. Everyone except three of the buildings that burned should be restored by 1 a.m., the utility said.