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Dozens evacuated after multiple manholes on fire in Astoria: FDNY

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 23:00:08-05

ASTORIA, Queens — Two explosions were heard from blocks away in Queens Tuesday as multiple manholes caught on fire, the FDNY said.

The fire department responded to the commotion on Broadway in Astoria Tuesday for the manholes at around 3 p.m.

Authorities were assessing neighboring structures for carbon monoxide seepage as a result of the fire.

No injuries have been reported though about 30 people have had to be evacuated from their apartments. A car parked over one of the manholes prevented the cover from flying in the air and hitting someone. The fire under the second manhole stayed in the roadbed.

The owner of the car, whom PIX11 News spoke to after the fires, said he'd owned for eight months. A Bronx resident, he'd driven to Astoria to go to the gym. He doesn't usually park in that fateful spot but he thought he'd gotten lucky Tuesday.

He told us Con Ed said he'd get the book value for the car which he believes is totaled.

Power is off for the block where the incidents occurred and nearby buildings could also temporarily lose power, as Con Ed checks conditions at other manholes.