There are reports that at least one of the manholes exploded and lifted up a vehicle around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday.
1st Avenue was temporarily closed between 71st and 73rd streets, but has since reopened.
There are no reports of injuries.
Con Edison responded to the scene as did 12 FDNY units and 60 firefighters.
Firefighters checked the area buildings for elevated levels of carbon monoxide. At least one building was evacuated, but the residents have been given the all clear to return home.
It appears an underground cable fire started the manhole fires and led to a power outage inside 402 E. 72nd Street.
Con Edison is working to replace the cable and restore power to the five-story building.