GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - Thursday morning, an underground electrical fire dislodged two manhole covers near Centennial Circle, according to National Grid.
NEWS10 has learned the blown manholes were part of at least five separate explosions. When Glens Falls Fire Department arrived on scene around 6:30 a.m., they say flames were visible about 12 feet high above the manholes. All fires were completely out as of just after noon on Thursday.
A spokesperson for National Grid says rain may have caused the explosions. It says the rain could have eroded electrical wires underground.
Debra Scoville, who lives above her jewelry store right next to one of the manholes, woke up to rattling windows and loud blasts.
"Flames, huge flames coming right out of the manhole, so it was a frightening morning. I actually saw the manhole cover pop up and saw a greenish, blue kind of a flame coming out of it, said Scoville.
Moments after Scoville returned home, it happened again.
"The series happened again so we grabbed everything again and we really took off, said Scoville.
Tony Missita, with the Glens Falls Water and Sewer Department, was working on Warren Street when the action began.
"After that it continued several times to explode and we called 911 real quick and tried to direct traffic and keep people out," said Missita.
Safety was Missita's main concern, as fire crews had yet to arrive.
"Some people were literally almost driving by it and the fire was 10 to 12 feet high at some points," said Missita.
The west side of the area is now reopened, including local businesses and homes. One building is said to have suffered interior damage and a few other buildings nearby suffered damage to exterior windows.
Most roadways are now reopened around Centennial Circle, which closed off as firemen investigated the scene.
According to National Grid all power has since been restored to the area.
St Mary's St Alphonsus Regional Catholic School has been closed, as an initial precautionary measure in regards to the carbon monoxide levels in the air. Smoke conditions and carbon monoxide levels have now been addressed and alleviated.
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