Manhole covers explode as underground fire spread in downtown Detroit

Firefighters descended on downtown Detroit after an underground fire was found spreading.
Firefighters descended on downtown Detroit after an underground fire was found.

Updated: 12:50 a.m.

Firefighters rushed to downtown Detroit Saturday night after fire was discovered spreading underground shortly before 10 p.m.

At least two manhole covers exploded, and several buildings lost electricity after an apparent power surge. Lights were seen pulsating on downtown buildings.

Firefighters first spotted flames underneath three manhole covers near Randolph and E. Grand River at 9:45 p.m. and called for extra help.

“It’s starting to go from manhole to manhole,” a firefighter told dispatchers.

Firefighters said they were worried about the fire growing as crowds grew larger downtown.

DTE arrived about an hour later to investigate whether a gas leak was the cause.

Firefighters left the scene about 11 p.m.

Check back for updates.

 

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.