Manhole Explosions Reported in Brockton, Mass., Power Restored

Power has been restored in Brockton, Massachusetts after a response to two manhole explosions prompted National Grid to shut it down for nearly 1,400 residents early Friday morning.

Brockton Fire first announced around 12:45 a.m. that crews were responding to a manhole explosion in the area of 158 Montello St. About an hour later, they confirmed two manholes actually experienced explosions.

National Grid also responded to the scene and temporarily shut down power to the town's downtown area around 2 a.m. As a result of the response, Montello Street was closed between Crescent and Lincoln streets. Two buildings were also evacuated due to carbon monoxide.

Power was initially expected to be restored at about 10 a.m., but National Grid said it was restored by 6:30 a.m.

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said the fires happened on an electrical system that dates back to Thomas Edison's time. Some of the wires may have been from the 1920s or 1930s.

"They told me there were about a half a dozen explosions," he said.

Carpenter said he's been told things are safe by National Grid but now he's reaching out to state officials to determine if that's really the case. He said this is the third underground fire involving buried electric lines in three years. The first happened in July of 2016.

"That was major on Main street. Explosions all over the downtown area. That was really a disaster," recalled Carpenter.

No injuries were reported in connection to the explosions.

Carpenter said the explosions were caused by an electrical fire in underground wiring.

"The area impacted by this morning's outage is included within a $7.2 million planned investment to Brockton's electrical infrastructure downtown," Natioal Grid said in a statement. "We regularly monitor, inspect, and invest in the system to assure the safe, reliable delivery to our customers, which includes proactively replacing cable and installing new underground infrastructure."

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