NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Officials say a pair of cars burst into flames on a residential Brooklyn block thanks to an underground electrical fire, and the recent string of cold weather could be to blame.
The vehicles were completely engulfed Friday afternoon on Pacific Street between 3rd Avenue and Nevins Street.
“The car went up about a good two feet in the air with flames shooting up, reaching halfway up to the tree,” witness Juan Vazquez said.
Firefighters doused the cars with water as thick smoke billowed into the Boerum Hill sky. It sent some folks running for cover, fearing the fire would spread.
A shell is all that’s left from one of the vehicles, with its glass blown out and engine sent spilling from the front. Officials say its all because an underground Con Edison service box below it caught fire. A second box under the other vehicle ignited, according to the FDNY.
Several other parked cars also sustained damage, including an SUV with a melted bumper. The owner says she’s just thankful nobody was hurt.
“I’m happy that I parked in the right spot because I’ve parked right behind there,” Tiffany Edwards-Wells said. “It would have exploded, so I’m actually okay.”
Battalion Chief Kevin Sullivan says it was all likely related to Friday’s frigid temperatures.
“De-icing materials on the roadway migrate down into the Con Edison system, and oftentimes erode the insulation around the ConEd wires and leads to electrical arcing,” Sullivan said.
Several homes and nearby schools went without power for several hours until utility crews on scene were able to get things up and running again.