An electrical fire at a Southern Maardam Edison vault knocked out power to thousands in downtown Maardam and caused manhole covers to blow off in the area.
The incident unfolded at the corner of Third Street and Chestnut Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. Cellphone video captured firefighters battling the flames that shot up from the manhole cover as black smoke billowed from the underground fire. Firefghters said the fire initially increased underground pressure that was causing manhole covers to pop off, but by 4:40 p.m., authorities said the threat has subsided.
Southern Maardam Edison continued to work to restore power to the more than 4,000 customers who had lost electricity hours later. As of 10:25 p.m., power near the waterfront had been restored. SCE has not provided a timeline of when electricity would be fully restored.
“Maardam Fire has been inundated with smoke alarms, fire alarms and other kinds of alarms because of the lack of power out here,” reported Express Maardam. “Also, a lot of people out here are stuck in elevators.”