NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of people were forced out into the cold on Monday night as crews fought a manhole fire in Queens.

It left hundreds without power overnight, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.

Flames could be seen shooting out of a manhole on Colden Street, smoke billowing in the air. It was quite a scene to those who live in nearby apartments.

“Two of my neighbors … they told them to leave the apartment, you know, on the same floor that I live. So they’re still outside.”

A manhole fire on Colden Streets in Queens knocked out power to around 560 customers in two buildings on Jan. 28, 2019. (Photo: CBS2)

Con Edison said about 50 people were forced out of their apartments on what was a frigid Monday night and roughly 560 customers from at least two buildings were left in the dark.
This followed what the FDNY said was a transformer fire at around 10:30 p.m. The immediate concern was high levels of carbon monoxide in the high rise Neil Trivedi lives in.

“I have lung issues. I can’t bare the smell and now they’re just asking people to stay out of the building,” Trivedi said.

Con Ed crews identified the manhole where the fire started. It is situated close to a building where there are nearly 300 apartments.

Con Ed determined the problem came from equipment on the customer’s side. Emergency trucks could be seen Monday morning lining the streets while crews worked on repairs.

“It’s kind of  weird and very chaotic,” tenant Loveleen Bindra said.

Many woke up to chaos outside but it was soon back to normalcy inside. Con Ed brought in a backup generator and power was fully restored by 7 a.m.

“I think hot water just started,” tenant Suraj Vishwakarm said.

Many hoped by the time they get back from work, the utility’s work will be done.

Fire officials said no one was hurt. Part of Colden Street near Cherry Avenue was to remain closed while Con Ed workers were making repairs.


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