Underground fire in Center City results in street closures, evacuations

PMANHOLE23
An underground fire at 13th and Wood Streets led to a power outage, street closures, and the evacuation of a nearby homeless shelter.

An underground fire late Friday afternoon near 13th and Vine Streets caused a power outage and led to street closures in the area and the evacuation of a homeless shelter, authorities said.

Police were called to the area after a report of at least one manhole cover blowing up shortly before 5 p.m. Residents at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission on 13th Street were evacuated as a precaution, police said. No injuries were reported.

Peco spokeswoman Liz Williamson said there was an “underground issue” at 13th and Wood Streets resulting in a power outage for 220 customers. By 7:30 p.m., that number had dropped to 66, she said.

Crews were on scene pumping water from the manhole before entering to investigate what happened and begin repairs.