Boston's Back Bay Slowly Recovering After Smoky Fire Causes Chaos

The smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire. i i

hide captionThe smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire.

Bianca Vazquez Toness/WBUR
The smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire.

The smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire.

Bianca Vazquez Toness/WBUR

Repair crews are working this morning to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Boston's Back Bay district, "after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power" and sending think black smoke billowing over the area, our colleagues at WBUR report.

According to WBUR, "fire officials say the large plumes of dark smoke at the height of the fire weren't toxic. But police have asked people to stay away. The fire erupted in a 115,000-volt transformer near a garage behind the Back Bay Hilton Hotel. That hotel and the nearby Sheraton were evacuated as a precaution."

The Boston Globe adds that:

"Tthe blaze caused structural damage only in the transformer building and no serious injuries, it paralyzed the Back Bay and South End as the evening rush hour wound to an end, forcing hotel guests to take to the streets and commuters to seek alternative ways to get home as a part of the Massachusetts Turnpike was closed to traffic.

"More than 20,000 residential and business power customers lost electricity across a broad swath of central Boston, including parts of the Back Bay, South End, Chinatown, the Theater District, and Kenmore Square."

As of this morning, WBUR says, "about 13,000 N-Star customers are still without power and an N-Star spokesman says it could be tonight before all customers have power again."

No serious injuries have been reported.

WBUR's Bianca Vazquez Toness

NPR's Tovia Smith

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: