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Dozens Evacuated After Manhole Fire in Jackson Heights

By Jess Wisloski | July 16, 2012 6:33pm

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A smoking manhole with sparks coming out of it prompted the FDNY to evacuate 25 shopkeepers and residents along a busy stretch of Roosevelt Avenue Monday, officials said.

A four-alarm fire was called for the smoke and sparks that came pouring out of a manhole in front of 95-15 Roosevelt Ave., near 95th Street at 4:31 p.m., the FDNY said.

A spokesperson for the FDNY said a caller reported sparking and smoke, and upon arrival, firefighters quickly evacuated eight nearby shops and apartments, displacing 25 people altogether.

Several shops in the direct vicinity did not answer their phones Monday afternoon, but a worker at the nearby Tacos Al Suedero, at 94th Street, said the smoke-filled block along Roosevelt Avenue where the eruption occurred had been closed off by rescue workers.

"I do see smoke, I don't see fire," said Annemarie Carreros, 31, who works at the taqueria.

"They closed off the street, and you see people trying to peek into what's going on, but I only can see is that it's blocked,"

"The customers [in her restaurant] said that it was some cables or wires that were down," she added. "They said something about cables sticking up, and that the smoke was coming from the bottom."

Calls to Con Edison were not immediately returned.