UNDERGROUND FIRE FORCES DOZENS OF EVACUATIONS ON 73RD STREET

fire 73rd

A fire erupted in a manhole on Wednesday night around 9 p.m. on West 73rd street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, forcing the FDNY to evacuate multiple buildings.

“Just heard a LOUD explosion–like boom north of 72nd St. on the west side,” Upper West Sider Steven Weiss wrote to us around 9.

The FDNY was called at 9:12 p.m. responding to a gas-fed transformer fire near 59 west 73rd street, an FDNY spokesman told us. They evacuated the buildings at 59 and 61 west 73rd, eventually evacuating a total of 26 apartments. Some of the people were evacuated “with the assistance of an MTA bus.” No injuries were reported.

Tessa Abrahams, who took the photos above and below, says the object sticking out of the left side of the burning hole is a motorcycle.

As of 12:20 a.m., the fire had still not been declared under control. Con Ed and FDNY were on the scene.

fire 73rd2

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. jbmorgan30 says:

      Not every night you see your street explode and swallow a motorcycle.

    2. WhatsUpDuck says:

      Am I wrong, or is the second time this has happened in the past few days?

    3. Amy says:

      I was evacuated from 61W 73rd. We were let back in around 3am. Gas will be out at a minimum through today/tonight. 3/4 of block is out.

    4. Nora C. says:

      There was another underground fire last week on W. 81st, between Amsterdam and Columbus, that burned two cars.

    5. StacyC says:

      A ConEd person told me this morning that the gas should be back on by tonight.

    6. Tom D says:

      Its all about the century old infrastructure. If this was a gas leak issue, sounds like it could have been another potential E 116th type problem with an exploding building. I guess UWS isn’t immune to this stuff.

    7. megan says:

      We were evacuated from 48 W. 73rd and let back in around 11:45pm

      • gerry says:

        i live at 48 west 73rd and i wasn’t evacuated… who told you to leave?

        • Rick says:

          I live in 48 as well; went down around 9:30 to see what was up and the firemen downstairs were saying to leave if you had somewhere to go. Came back around 11:30 and they said it was fine then

    8. Jay says:

      Here’s the YouTube video. Doesn’t clearly show the motor cycle though.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-Bmq_3ZtaE