MANHATTAN – After nearly four hours on the scene, more than 100 firefighters were able to get a stubborn, two-alarm underground transformer fire on the Upper East Side under control. However, today’s success came at a cost– six firefighters were injured and taken to the hospital– that’s in addition to five civilians who also needed medical care.
Officials say the building, located at 225 East 63rd Street, had to be evacuated due to the basement transformer fire and the high carbon monoxide levels it sent up to the first floor. Heavy smoke was initially reported in the building’s basement.
Firefighters could be seen going in and out through the building’s the parking garage more than three hours after the first call for help.
FDNY officials say they have twenty five units comprised of 106 FDNY members on the scene were able to get the underground transformer fire under control just before 1:30 this afternoon.
Con Edison crews could be seen putting on gas masks and protective equipment, preparing to enter the site. The utility company says power has been cut to the building since firefighters began battling the flames this morning.
Con Ed points out the transformer that caught fire underground belongs to the building and is not the power company’s equipment. Power will be restored to the building at 225 East 63rd Street once it is safe to do so, Con Ed says, and no other buildings were affected by outages.
East 63rd street was shut down to car traffic between Third and Second Avenues for hours as firefighters worked, but pedestrians were allowed to pass through on the south side of the street.