MORE PHOTOS: Manhole covers burst into air after underground fire in downtown New Britain

Published on Friday, 15 January 2021 18:02
Written by Catherine Shen


NEW BRITAIN – An electrical fire that caused several manhole covers to burst up on Lafayette and Main Street prompted street closures late Thursday evening in downtown New Britain.

At around 8:25 p.m., the New Britain Fire Department responded to an electrical fire on the ground near Taco Bell on Lafayette and Main Street, which caused businesses in the area to be evacuated. About two dozen emergency vehicles were at the scene to clear the area.

“The underground electrical vaults, which are owned by Eversource, caught fire and vented themselves which caused the manhole covers to blow off,” Fire Chief Raul Ortiz said.

As of 9:08 p.m., Connecticut Natural Gas and Eversource were at the scene to contain the fire and to de-energize it.

“The fire department can’t do anything with the fire until they de-energize it so that’s what we’re waiting for right now,” Ortiz said.

The chief added that no one was hurt and the situation had been turned over to Eversource and as of Friday morning they were still on scene repairing damages.

“Don’t worry Taco Bell and Capitol Lunch are okay,” Mayor Erin Stewart tweeted Thursday night about the situation followed by a thumbs up emoji.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 15 January 2021 18:02. Updated: Friday, 15 January 2021 18:04.