Electrical Fire Breaks Out in Basement of E. 42nd Street High-Rise

By Heather Holland on February 22, 2013 12:15pm 

 An electrical fire broke out in the basement of Woodstock Towers, located at 320 E. 42nd St., on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
An electrical fire broke out in the basement of Woodstock Towers, located at 320 E. 42nd St., on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
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Dnainfo/Heather Holland

MIDTOWN — An electrical fire in the basement of a residential high-rise on East 42nd Street sent smoke billowing from a sidewalk vent Friday morning, authorities said.

The electrical fire took place in the basement of Woodstock Towers, a residential building located at 320 E. 42nd St., between First and Second avenues, the FDNY said.

Sixty-five firefighters arrived at the scene at 8:18 a.m., bringing the blaze under control by 9:48 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said. Firefighters searched the surrounding area for signs of manholes but found none, the spokesman added.

“There was a cable that was burnt in the basement that was causing smoke,” said Ali Kabashi, the superintendent of the building.  

Con Edison was still investigating the source of the fire Friday morning but wasn’t able to provide more details.

Some residents of the building said they didn’t know a fire had occurred but saw their lights flicker.

“Two lamps on one wall started flickering, but then it went away,” said Woodstock Towers resident Blane Walker, 72, who lives on the 16th floor.

Another resident said she smelled the fire in the building's stairwell.

“It wasn’t smoke, but it just smelled like something burning,” said a resident who lives on the 17th floor of the building and declined to reveal her name. “The flickering only lasted for about 10 minutes, but if you walk down the staircase, it still smells a little like something’s burning.”

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