What to Know
- An underground fire in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, spread to two parked cars on Friday before electricity suddenly shut off for some area homes
- Fire officials say electrical wiring caught fire under the street and the flames came up through the manholes; no one was hurt
- Con Edison crews were working to restore power
An underground fire in Brooklyn Friday sparked a ball of fire that engulfed a car in seconds, shocking people in the Boerum Hill neighborhood when their electricity suddenly shut off.
The flames ripped through a parked car on Pacific Street, right next to a playground, in seconds, and as firefighters raced to get that fire under control, a second vehicle caught fire down the block.
"Huge, huge mushroom clouds," said witness Tiffany Edwards-Wells. "It was insane."
Some residents said they didn't notice the chaos until their power shut off.
"The light started flickering and all of a sudden, there was a loud boom," said Max Seltzer.
Fire officials said electrical wiring caught fire under the street and the flames came up through the manholes, leaving cars melted and charred. Two vehicles were destroyed but others on the street were damage by the heat, including Edwards-Wells' car. She said she wasn't sure if the fires would keep spreading.
"There were fiery pieces of metal flying around the neighborhood, so of course I'm going to stay away from my windows and call my loved ones," she said.
"You see the fire on the car, and you think if it gets to the gas tank then you have a real problem," said Seltzer.
Power was still out Friday evening, and Con Edison crews were working to restore electricity.
No one was injured.