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Charles Street Reopens Day After Underground Fire In Downtown Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Charles Street in downtown Baltimore reopened Tuesday evening after an underground fire led to a first responder being injured, and caused four manholes to explode on Monday.

A portion of N. Charles St. near Lexington St. is closed as firefighters worked to put out the underground fire.

Video shows plumes of thick, black smoke emitting from a manhole in downtown Baltimore caused by an underground fire.

Linda Hassan, who recorded the video at N. Charles and Lexington Streets, said her car was parked right in front of "David and David's Cafe."

"Thought it was actually my car on fire, turned and said no it couldn't be, and looked and saw the smoke," she said. "Just about within 30 seconds, we saw flames coming up with that."

The fire caused four manholes to explode, and a firefighter/paramedic was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Two firetrucks were also damaged.

Those living in the nearby apartment building were among those asked to evacuate as a precaution.

"Yeah, everybody was running, the restaurants, everywhere," said Michelle Mack. "It sounded like a bomb to me."

BGE crews were on scene to inspect their equipment, though they hadn't been able to find any issues at that time.

Fire crews said they had the flames under control, but the area was evacuated as a precaution.

It's not the first underground fire the area this year.

Back in February, smoke from an underground fire less than a quarter mile away sparked carbon monoxide scares.

In June, a similar scenario in the same region.

The underground fire caused two manhole covers to explode, and damaged a quarter mile of electrical cable.

The cause of this latest fire remains under investigation.

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