Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Power-line fire shuts down Main Street

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press
Emergency crews block traffic in both directions near Main and Higgins after power lines caught fire beneath the street.

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Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press Emergency crews block traffic in both directions near Main and Higgins after power lines caught fire beneath the street.

AN underground electrical fire near Main Street and Higgins Avenue caused a power outage for 1,400 customers in the area Saturday and prompted the evacuation of the Bell Hotel.

Manitoba Hydro spokeswoman Andrea Gruber said Hydro crews, firefighters and police closed off the intersection just before 4 p.m. after a manhole cover blew off and steam rose from the ground where the cover had been. Gruber said this was caused by burning power lines below the street.

The cause of the underground fire is still unknown. Crews had restored power by early Saturday night.

The Bell Hotel, at 662 Main St., was evacuated as smoke began to enter the building.

Police said there were toxic gases in the air, including carbon monoxide, so they evacuated hotel residents onto Winnipeg Transit buses.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2014 A4

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