Crews Fight Manhole Fire in San Francisco

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011  |  Updated 3:47 PM PDT
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Crews Fight Manhole Fire in San Francisco

Flames were never visible from above.

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Power went out for businesses and residents in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood this afternoon in an outage related to a manhole  fire at Folsom and Harriet streets.

Firefighters were called to that intersection at 1:48 p.m., fire  department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

A small amount of black smoke spewed out of the manhole.

Crews fought the blaze by applying carbon dioxide, which  essentially "smothers" the fire without damaging the underground electrical  equipment, Talmadge said. They covered the whole with a tarp and the method caused white smoke to spew from underneath.

No injuries were reported and no evacuations were necessary, she  said.

PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said the incident knocked out power to  about 1,100 customers in the SOMA and lower Potrero Hill neighborhoods. As of  about 3:15 p.m., power had been restored to 885 customers, he said.

He said PG&E is working to bring a generator to the area to get  power back to the remaining customers.

Molica said the cause of the outage is still being investigated.

As of 3:30 p.m., Folsom Street remained closed between Sixth and  Seventh streets.
 

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