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Melting snow and salt caused an electrical fire that left two Canal St. buildings with a partial loss of power on the afternoon of Feb. 25.
Around 50 firefighters rushed to the scene around 1:15 p.m., in response to reports of a smoking manhole just west of Hudson St., by the mouth of the Holland Tunnel. They soon realized that the blaze was coming from a Con Edison service box under the street, according to a Fire Department spokesperson.
So the utility company was quickly called in to shut down the system, as firefighters put out some flames that had traveled to the basement of 499 Canal St., a four-story residential building. The blaze was under control by 2:25 p.m., the Fire Department spokesperson said.
Con Ed workers shut down the box around 3 p.m., leaving several apartments in the residential building and part of the adjoining 497 Canal St., a two-story commercial building, without electricity until around 4:30 p.m., according to a Con Ed spokesperson.
There were no injuries and no evacuations, authorities said.
The Con Ed spokesperson, Sidney Alvarez, explained that origins the incident were no mystery to the utility company.
“This kind of problem is caused basically because of snow and salt getting down into the service box system,” said Alvarez.