Underground Electrical Fire Closes Main Street
Fire began with a transformer that blew on Old Palisade Rd.; businesses closed until further notice.
An underground electrical fire closed a portion of Main Street from Center Ave. to Gerome Ave. and briefly left about 250 homes and businesses without power Sunday morning.
Officials said that black smoke was "pouring out" of a sidewalk vent from an underground vault that houses electrical wires on the south side of Main St. in front of Gateaux Bakery.
According to Fort Lee Fire Chief Keith Sabatino, the fire originated from a transformer that blew out at 200 Old Palisade Rd.
Sabatino said that when PSE&G cut the power to that building there may have been a "back feed" up Main Street causing the underground electrical fire.
"PSE&G might have tripped a fuse when they cut power to the building," Sabatino said.
A PSE&G spokesperson said 96 customers were still without power as of 1 p.m. She said power should be restored within a few hours.
According to officials, there was an underground electrical fire in the same location on Main St. about three weeks ago. The wires that caught fire Sunday had been replaced by PSE&G just weeks ago.
"Luckily it's a Sunday morning so most businesses are closed," Sabatino said. "However, the restaurants along this portion of Main Street are closed until further notice."
Officials said that the road closure has caused little disruption in traffic, but noted that Sunday morning traffic is generally light in that area of Fort Lee.
"If this was Monday morning, it would be a different story," Sabatino said.
James Leggate contributed to this report.