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Published: Sunday, 3/20/2011

Underground fire downtown sends manhole covers flying

Toledo firefighters extinguished a fire Saturday in a manhole in downtown Toledo.

Battalion Chief Thomas Jaksetic said insulation on Toledo Edison Co. power lines carrying 72,000 volts caught fire.

Crews arriving after receiving a call at 5:35 p.m. saw a manhole cover being launched on Huron Street near Adams Street and land about 15 feet from the hole.

Another manhole cover also was blown off its seat and landed on the street. No one was injured.

Toledo police blocked off streets around the manholes. About 5:50 p.m. firefighters reported seeing flames inside a manhole near the Charter One Bank on Huron.

Firefighters checked adjacent buildings for traces of combustible gases, but none was found. The manholes also provided access to Columbia Gas lines. Natural gas was not involved, though, said Chris Kozak, Columbia Gas spokesman.

A Toledo Edison spokesman said that there were no power interruptions or outages downtown.

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