Center City Philadelphia

Philadelphia Police Block Center City Streets as Fire Burns Underground

NBC Universal, Inc.

Philadelphia police closed some Center City streets Wednesday morning due to an underground electrical fire.

Smoke could be seen coming out of a manhole at 16th and Walnut streets just after 6:30 a.m. The area there has many stores, offices and even residences.

Walnut Street at 15th Street and 16th Street at Locust Street were closed for hours. Pedestrians and drivers should avoid the area.

A worker in the area said they heard something sizzle before seeing smoke.

PECO and city crews were on the scene along with Philadelphia firefighters.

PECO said the underground fire appeared to be caused by an equipment malfunction. There were about more than 200 customers without power in the area as of 9:25 a.m. That number was down to around 100 just before 11 a.m.

Only a handful of outages remained as of midday.

No injuries were reported.

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