Power mostly restored to State Street after underground electrical fire breaks out Tuesday night

Local News

Power has been restored to hundreds of customers after an electrical fire broke out underneath 10th & State Tuesday evening.

The first calls came in just before 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. Erie Firefighters found flames and heavy smoke pouring from the electrical vault under the sidewalk east of State Street and north of 10th Street.

To isolate the problem and de-energize the burning lines, Penelec shut down the power to a significant portion of downtown. Erie County 911 reported that area extended from Holland Street west to Sassafras Street and from 18th Street north to the Bayfront.

According to the FirstEnergy outage map, around 1-20 customers are still without power at 10th & State Streets Wednesday morning. At this time, the estimated time of restoration is 11 p.m.

According to the deputy fire chief on scene, they were keeping a close eye on the basements of nearby buildings to make sure the fire didn’t spread.

While the fire burned, that wasn’t the only worry…

“The main thing that we can do is stand by for Penelec, keep everybody away from the area, watch the manhole covers — we just had a bunch of those blow up… There’s a lot of potential for injury, so we just got to keep everybody away,” said Deputy Chief Mike Fahey, Erie Fire Department.

According to a spokesman for Penelec, the problem appears to have been caused by a failed transformer.

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