• Manholes explode in Boston, damage nearby building

    By: Drew Karedes

    Updated:

    BOSTON - The windows of a 94-year-old woman’s apartment were shattered during some very scary moments Monday, when two manholes exploded in Boston's South End. 

    Cleanup is now underway in the neighborhood where people felt the explosions and initially had no idea what was going on.

    One manhole cover on Isabella Street blew off during the explosions, and neighbors tell us their lights flickered for several moments.

    The Boston District 4 firehouse, located just steps away from the explosions, lost power completely and had been running off a generator through some of the afternoon.

    Firefighters ran outside after this happened right around 1:30 p.m. and put out the underground fires using a gel mixture of fire and ice. There they found the electrical fire from an underground cable belonging to Eversource.  

    Those living and working in the area were left in a panic, wondering what in the world was going on.

    "It was just a huge boom and my whole apartment shook. The dogs jumped up and it scared the living daylights out of me," said Veronica Lundgren, who lives nearby.

     “I was at the Boston Marathon back in 2013. I had a little bit of 'Oh my goodness. I don’t know whats going on.' I called my Dad, I had my dog, no leash, no coat!" said Christina Gallagher, who also lives nearby.

    Fire crews went from basement to basement at buildings through the area near Columbus and Isabella, checking for smoke and carbon monoxide, but did not find anything considered to be dangerous.

    Fortunately, the 94-year-old woman, whose windows were blown out in the explosions, was out with her caretaker and not at home when this happened.

    Thank God nobody got hurt," Gallagher said. "Because if someone was walking their dog or something...it wouldn't be good." 

    On Monday night, crews from Eversource ventured underground to try and find the cause of those electrical fires. The company said they are still investigating, but did give a statement to Boston 25.

    "Our crews continue to make repairs to underground cables damaged this afternoon on Columbus Avenue. The two cables failed - causing smoke to rise from two different manholes. No customers lost power and the Boston Fire Department station house at the impacted area is running on a generator. We are still looking into the cause. We expect to be working in the area for the next few days while we make repairs."

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