Manhole Fire Briefly Shuts Down West 14th Street

By Mathew Katz on June 17, 2013 3:29pm 

 Crews responded to reports of smoking manholes on West 14th Street on Monday afternoon.
Crews responded to reports of smoking manholes on West 14th Street on Monday afternoon.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

CHELSEA — Firefighters briefly shut down traffic on West 14th Street on Monday afternoon after a manhole caught fire and knocked out power to several posh stores in the Meatpacking District.

Crews found smoking manholes near the corner of West 14th Street and Washington Street about 2 p.m., officials said. 

Because of the smoke, firefighters had to check each building on the street for possible gas leaks, officials said, including clothing retailer Patagonia and beauty product maker Kiehl's.

"I could smell smoke, but nothing really seemed too dangerous," said Eric Finke, who was in the nearby Levi's store when crews arrived on the scene.

A Con Edison emergency crew arrived about 3 p.m., after the fire was out, and was investigating the incident, a spokesman said.

West 14th Street was closed between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street after the fire but reopened before 3:30 p.m.

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