Hotel evacuated, power outages after manhole fires in Brooklyn, Queens

SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Manhole fires in Brooklyn and Queens are behind a series of power outages, prompting some buildings -- including a hotel -- to be evacuated.

In Sunset Park, the guests of the Insignia hotel were forced outside into the rain, where they waited on MTA buses for nearly six hours until they were allowed back inside.

"We heard fire alarms, we saw the firemen outside," witness Hanson Zhao said. "They weren't really doing anything until a few hours later when the carbon monoxide started coming in, and then they started to evacuate us."

In Queens, there were explosions on 32nd Avenue in East Elmhurst, where Con Ed said a transformer fire led to a manhole fire around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

In Maspeth, there was another manhole fire.

Ten people had to be evacuated from their homes because of high carbon monoxide readings.

The localized power outages due to the fires were all caused by the rain or overheating wires below the ground.

That is something officials say residents can expect to see more of as the temperatures continue to soar over the weekend.

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