NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were power problems Friday morning for residents in three large apartment buildings in Queens after an underground fire caused two manholes to explode.
It happened just after 5:15 a.m. near 37th Avenue and 85th Street in Jackson Heights.
Cell phone video from the scene showed flames shooting up from underground as electrical wires popped and exploded, startling neighbors.
“Explosion, you know, boom, boom, boom,” one resident told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris.
“The sound, it surrounded our building,” said another.
“Smoke, explosions, popping,” said another.
As the sun rose, the smoke and flames continued to billow from two manholes. Residents on 85th Street navigated past Con Edison crews, caution tape and through their dark apartments.
“The lights were dim and they kept flickering and now I just lost all power,” said resident Judy Chandon.
At the time of the underground transformer fire, there was an existing Con Ed project in the same area.
“Con Edison was working here this morning when I heard the explosion,” said resident John Cornish.
A spokesperson for Con Ed says the ongoing construction did not have any connection to the underground fire. Often times when salt seeps underground, that can cause transformer issues, but that hasn’t yet been determined.
There were no injuries to crews or residents.