Several manhole fires on UWS knock out power to 40 buildings

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Electrical cable fires underground are causing multiple manhole fires on the Upper West Side.

It all started at 71st Street and Broadway around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The neighborhood was choked with thick, black smoke.

Con Edison along with the FDNY remain on the scene. They are working to isolate the burning cables and shut them off, but it is a slow process.

It wasn't until after 10 p.m. that the FDNY declared the situation under control. Now a long repair job awaits.

Broadway is shutdown between 70th and 72nd street.

There currently more than 600 customers without power and Con Ed estimates some 40 buildings/brownstones are affected. Some buildings had power, but their elevators wouldn't work.

It's not yet known when power will be restored.

Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Einiger is on the scene:

Con Ed reports that the heat was the probable cause of the cable fires.
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