Look out below! Flames shoot from Gerritsen Beach street after underground equipment ignites

Ablaze: A electrical transformer caught fire underneath a manhole on Knapp Street at Gerritsen Avenue on Nov. 20 at 10:35 pm.
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Fire in the manhole!

Firefighters rushed to contain a blaze burning below a Gerritsen Beach street after an underground electrical transformer ignited on Monday night.

A caller reported smoke billowing from a Knapp Street manhole in front of a gas station near Gerritsen Avenue at 10:35 pm, according to a Fire Department spokesman, who said members of New York’s Bravest dispatched to the scene shut off a nearby gas pipe and cordoned off the hole as flames and fog shot out of it.

But the firefighters couldn’t put out the transformer fire because the department doesn’t hose down electrical equipment, the spokesman said, so they called workers with utility provider Con Edison, which maintains the infrastructure, who arrived later and shut the equipment down before starting to repair it, a company rep said.

The transformer’s spontaneous combustion injured no one, did not require any evacuations, and did not result in any power outages, according to Con Ed rep Alfonso Quiroz, who on Tuesday said repairs to the infrastructure are ongoing.

The company is still investigating the cause of the blaze, Quiroz said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 10:30 am, November 21, 2018
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