Manhole Fire Breaks Out on Broadway

Photo by @rockshrimp.

A section of 86th Street was blocked off a little after 6 a.m. after a manhole fire broke out at 86th and Broadway.

“4 Units responded to W 86 st/ Broadway at 06:23 hrs for a manhole fire,” an FDNY spokesperson told us. “FDNY members secured the scene and notified utilities to respond. Units remained on scene until the arrival of con-ed at 09:50 hrs. no injuries.”

NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Crankypants says:

      It took 3+ hours for ConEd to show up?!

    2. lynn says:

      Something similar happened on 72nd and B’way this past Friday. There was an explosion that we could feel halfway down the block and the street was filled with smoke all the way down to WEA. The FD went door to door checking for carbon monoxide but luckily there were no other issues. It went on for a few hours, but other than the Citizen app I didn’t see any news coverage.

    3. Christine says:

      I love the newspaper box pitching in to delineate a safe area. Whatever it takes.

      So New York. I love New York. The end.

    4. Rockshrimp says:

      There’s been a number of other explosion noises and the Firetrucks have been back out for a while. not our favorite.

    5. Julie says:

      A loud explosion occurred at this spot around 1:45 pm. It shook my building!

    6. Debra says:

      There were two explosions about 2:00. The manhole cover on 87 and Broadway, and the one right in the middle of the block between 86 and 87th. I think some cars were damaged, but thankfully, no people.

    7. say-moi says:

      The UWS going down the drain?
      Isn’t it time the city fixed the entire infrastructure? ….Especially while it’s not crowded most of the time. Perfect opportunity! What are they waiting for! Starting with streets, sidewalks all disintegrating. Looks like a third world these days.

      • Glen says:

        Fixing infrastructure requires the city to invest money which is something it does not have. Blessedly however in the meantime the city has been able to funnel close to $1B to Mrs. DeBlasio’s “ThriveNYC” program in order to keep the homeless off the streets.

        • Jay says:


          What does ThriveNYC funding have to do with a fire in a ConEd miniature substation?

          Now regards ThriveNYC, imagine the number of homeless on the streets absent that program, no matter how imperfectly implemented.

          The great De Blasio failure in regards to homelessness is that De Blasio did nothing to reverse the Bloomberg policy that substituted cash for apartments in public housing for employed homeless people.

    8. Pcnyc says:

      Had the same thought as Crankypants: what’s with the slow roll, Con Ed?

    9. Marc says:

      Scary. The city needs a capital improvement project to prevent further incidents. These covers can kill someone

      • Jay says:


        “Scary. The city needs a capital improvement project to prevent further incidents. These covers can kill someone”

        Scary that you and so many others think the City runs ConEdison.

        Yes, this is most certainly an electrical fire in ConEd equipment. From the photo it looks like it’s a mini-substation under the vent in the street.

    10. Jay says:


      “Isn’t it time the city fixed the entire infrastructure?”

      This is not a water main break.

      Con Ed is not part of the City.

      What specifically do you think that the City, really the State, should do to encourage Con Ed to fix deterioration in below ground components?

    11. lynn says:

      Another fire in a manhole was just reported at 72nd and B’way. 🙁

    12. your_neighbor says:

      This is not new news, it happens every year after big snowstorms. Overuse of the salt by the sanitation department causes all kinds of havoc on all of the city’s underground infrastructure. There are intersections on the UWS with an inch of salt on them. A good start would be to either use less salt or switch to less aggressive chemicals like they use in most of the Rocky Mountain states.

    13. Jeff says:

      The City had an interesting article last year about this phenomenon (see below).

      Fwiw, I live right above the recent explosion on 72nd Street that others have mentioned; a manhole cover was blown off right in front off Sushi Kaito, and smoke was also spewing out of another manhole in front of City Vet.