Manhole Fire Forces Evacuation on 25th Street
MANHATTAN — Six people were evacuated from a Gramercy building Thursday after a manhole fire generated high levels of carbon monoxide, fire officials said.
The blaze, which forced officals to shut off power to the block, broke out in front of 118 E. 25th St., near Lexington Avenue, at 12:18 p.m., according to the FDNY.
Power was shut off on the block about 2:30, Sweet said, forcing businesses to close early.
“You could hear an explosion. I heard [people] coughing. It was this jet black smoke,” said Matt Sweet, 25, who works at a golf simulator at 122 E. 25th St., next to where the fire started. “I was definitely nervous.”
Responding firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide, including a reading of 700 ppm in the basement of 118.
“There was smoke,” said Jose Ortega, 63, who is the super of the building. “It smelled toxic.”
Levels over 50 ppm are problematic, a source said.
Six people were evacuated from a neighboring building, 124 E. 25th St., where carbon monoxide readings were over 300 ppm.
No injuries were immediately reported.