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Firefighters Travel Deep Into Subway Tunnel To Fight Blaze In Cable Room

Fire Made For Plenty Of Service Changes On B, D, F, N Q And R Lines
MTA Logo  (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

MTA Logo (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A fire that caused cables to burn in a small manhole space several hundred feet into a subway tunnel made for many commuter headaches on Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze broke out around 4 p.m. in a signal and communication cable room not far from the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge and near the Dekalb Avenue station in Brooklyn, according to MTA spokesman Adam Lisburg.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Reports


“It sent smoke billowing through the tunnel. We had to shut down service on the B and D lines so that people wouldn’t be breathing that smoke going through there and so firefighters could get in and access it,” he told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

There were numerous delays and service changes on the B, D, F, N Q and R lines between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Firefighters got to the fire on a light rail train, traveling 600 feet into the tunnel, where FDNY Brooklyn Borough Commander James Leonard said it was very hot and smoky.

“We were able to ascertain where the fire was, we just were not sure exactly what was on fire,” Leonard said.

It turned out to be cables in the manhole, but according to the MTA, no critical power cables were affected. Officials were able to work around the burned out space to get service restored not long after the fire was out.

“We were able to both identify the source of the fire and figure out a way to work around all the equipment that was damaged,” Lisberg said.

The fire was extinguished around 6:15 p.m. and service was mostly restored by 7:30 p.m.