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MI: Arc Creates Underground Fire

Troy, MI:  Noise from a large explosion startled residents on Fifth Avenue between Federal and Jacob streets late Thursday afternoon. City of Troy Fire Department officials later said the explosion was caused by an electrical fire underground.

“We were sitting out here talking when we heard a sound like something blew up,” said resident Ida Pryer. “I saw smoke coming out from the sewer but I thought it was coming from the car.”

Another Fifth Avenue resident, Debra, said she saw the manhole cover come up from the ground and land in front of a parked car. She said she immediately called 911 and the Troy Police Department.

Battalion Chief Ray Davis said he was informed by National Grid that the isolated incident began when an arc in a 34,500 volt power line underground caused an electrical fire which forced the manhole cover to be lifted off the ground. The arc shorted out and kept the problem from spreading to other areas.

“It’s unusual in the City of Troy but not so unusual based on the infrastructure of the older cities where some of the electrical lines are older and having issues,” Davis said, adding it is also unusual to see manhole covers flying around.

Davis said the scene would be turned over to National Grid.

Story via troyrecord.com

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