MANHATTAN — A manhole fire on Monday morning knocked out power to 200 businesses and apartments in Union Square, including a 24-hour Walgreens on the corner of East 14th Street and Fourth Avenue.
Flames erupted from a manhole near the intersection about 2:40 a.m., and the flames were brought under control about 4:50 a.m., according to an FDNY spokesman, leaving businesses and apartments on the block without power for nearly 12 hours.
Affected businesses stretched from a Wells Fargo bank east of Fourth Avenue on 14th Street, and around the corner and down to a Liquitería on the corner of 13th Street. Storefronts along the swath were dark and most of them were closed as of Monday morning.
According to Con Edison, 218 units lost electricity.
Don Khan, who works at I-Smoke & Vape Shop on Fourth Avenue between 13th and 14th streets said he showed up for work around 8 a.m. to find the power out and Con Edison crews working in manholes at the intersection. Unlike other businesses on the block he had his doors open and was selling what he could, but business was bound to take a hit, he said.
"Monday is one of our busiest mornings, so it's definitely affecting business," he said. "I'm trying to help our regulars as best I can."
Power on the block was restored by about 1:30 p.m., according to an employee at Cava Grill, one of the businesses affected by the outage.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire.
There were no reported injuries.