Dec. 22, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A manhole erupted in flames in Long Island City early Monday sending smoke billowing into a nearby restaurant.
The blaze took place near the corner of 48th Avenue and 11th Street at around 4:15 a.m. and smoke quickly filled the outdoor dining area at Jora, a Peruvian restaurant located at 47-46 11th St.
Responding firefighters were forced to smash nearly all of the plexiglass windows in order to release the smoke. The fire was put out by 5:28 a.m., according to the FDNY.
Shattered glass could be seen strewn across the tables and the floor of the outdoor dining area Monday.
The owners of Jora said they were forced to close the eatery Monday due to the incident and plan to reopen today.
Manhole fires are a common occurrence in New York City, particularly in the winter.
The mixture of melting snow and de-icing salt seeping into manholes cause frayed low-voltage cables to fail. In turn, that causes fires, smoke and explosions that can send manhole covers flying.
Smoke in Restaurant @CitizenApp
47-46 11th St 4:24:11 AM EST
Sorry to hear a small business had yet another setback! But problems with manholes are becoming more common.
A manhole in front of my building was billowing smoke for a couple of days. Firetrucks were at the scene twice last week and nothing was done except to block off the area to prevent a car from parking over it.
Finally Friday night they were at the scene again and Con Edison was brought in – my building power was shut off for 12 hours overnight to repair the problem. Glad we avoided a fire, but wondering why this wasn’t taken care of on the first visit.