NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people were left standing out in the cold Friday after a gas leak led to an explosive manhole fire in Harlem.
Police shut down six blocks around the fire, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported from the scene.READ MORE: Harrison School District Taking Action To Bring All Students Back Into Classrooms Full Time In Coming Weeks
Citizen video shows flames shooting out of the manhole on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard near 115th Street on Friday afternoon.
Con Edison said crews were excavating a low pressure gas line around 1:30 p.m. after reports of a gas leak when the fire broke out.
Chopper 2 showed how gas in that underground line continued to fuel the fire.
Crews were digging to find two of three underground valves around 5 p.m. They had to be turned off simultaneously to stop the fire, Moore reported.READ MORE: Blackface Costume Controversy Hits N.J. Town Of Lakewood
“As first we didn’t think much of it… it’s a little fire, it’s nothing much. But then all of the sudden you hear this gurgle. Then the firefighter came and he was like, ‘You all have to leave,” said Stanley Rosario, who was one of hundreds forced to evacuate.
“You could smell something. Something was wrong,” Rosario said.
The lack of black smoke was a telltale sign that natural gas was fueling the fire.
There was some initial concern about smoke moving through ventilation systems and getting into nearby apartments, but it does not appear that happened.
All residents who were evacuated were back in their homes Friday night. No one was hurt.MORE NEWS: Long Island Community Comes Together To Help Beloved Ceramics Shop Facing $87,000 Lawsuit From Landlord
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