Gurlging sound and then flames shot out of Central Ave

central ave flames hole 2010-12-06

From the scene: there were gurgling noises and then flames shot out of the hole.

Updated at 4:44 pm

A fault in an electrical cable underneath Central Ave in Albany on the block between Lake and Quail caused an underground fire today. There was smoke coming out of a hole in the street. There were also periodic gurgling noises and then flames shot 3-4 feet out of the hole (that was around noon). The fire is now out, according to National Grid.

Crews from the fire department and National Grid are on the scene. We were told the smoking hole was a manhole -- and the cover reportedly blew off the hole.

Via an email from National Grid spokesperson Patrick Stella at 1:22 pm:

National Grid is currently working at the 300 block of Central Ave. to repair a secondary cable fault underground. The fault did cause a fire underground earlier today (between 11 a.m. and noon). The fire has been extinguished and crews will be working on repairs this afternoon.
In order to complete repairs, we may have to temporarily cut power along the block, but the extent and duration of that possibility has not yet been determined.

Stella says National Grid doesn't know the cause of the cable fault. He says they'll investigate the cause after repairs are made and the debris is cleaned out of the manhole. Until the cause is known, he says it's impossible to compare/contrast this incident with the March 2009 incident (which included exploding manhole covers) in downtown Albany. He says about 12 customers are without power.

Central Ave was blocked from Lake to Quail for a few hours. It's now open again. The site is in front of the I Love NY pizza shop next to Richters. That's the same block as Van's, CCK and Salsa Latina.

The first report we saw of the fire came from @MickMartin1:

Our block is barricaded because of an underground fire. Yellow smoke. If I ever have a chance to get superpowers it's now

WAMC's Sarah LaDuke -- the station's on the other side of the street, up Central -- then posted a photo from the scene. You can see flames in the photo.

More photos from the scene after the jump. At times, the smoke had a yellow or green cast.

central ave flames 2010-12-06 smoke 2

central ave flames hole 2010-12-06 yellow smoke

Crews working working on the problem from another hole down the street:
central ave flames 2010-12-06 crews working

central ave flames 2010-12-06 crews working 2

Fire crews cutting into the sidewalk in front of Richter's:
central ave flames 2010-12-06 fire crews

And video shot by @MickMartin1:

Back in 2009... Something roughly similar happened in downtown Albany in March 2009.

Find It

underground fire on Central Ave in Albany
309 Central Ave
Albany, NY 12206


Just a few Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, guys. Moving on.

We had dinner at Salsa Latina on Friday evening and sat in the front of the restaurant, right side. There was an awful smell the whole time. It was almost like the smell sterno makes, but could have been melting electrical wire insulation. Gave me an awful headache. I said to my husband "gee, I hope this place doesn't explode" and now there's this fire right near it. Scary!

Oh man. That's one of Albany's best food blocks! Hopefully my Pho supply will not be affected...


lol. CHUDS. Awesome.

TMNT just whooped Shredder. Big explosion. Cut to commercials.

We were wondering what the heck was going on - we wanted to go to Van's for lunch and our PHO plans were totally foiled.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine