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Thousands Without Power After Transformer Explodes In Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston firefighters have put out a smoky four-alarm fire at a garage on Dalton Street. The building is adjacent to the Back Bay Hilton which was evacuated.

According to the fire department, the blaze started when a 115,000 volt NSTAR transformer exploded.

Power was cut in the surrounding area to get the fire under control. NSTAR workers are at the scene working with fire officials. The utility company is bringing in large generators to begin restoring power. An estimated 20,000 people are without power.

Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald says power was out from the Kenmore area to Chinatown. Mayor Menino says power should be restored from Clarendon Street to Chinatown overnight.

Crews will work through the night to restore power to the rest of the city.

Back Bay Blackout
Boston Firefighters use saw to cut through garage door after transformer explosion. (Photo from Bernice Corpuz WBZ NewsRadio)

Heavy black smoke that fire officials initially said was toxic, billowed from the building for almost two hours. The smoke was determined to be from mineral oil which is used to cool the transformer, and was not toxic.

Streets in the area have been shut down. These include Mass. Ave, Boylston Street, Dalton Street, Belvedere Street and the Prudential Tunnel.

Several Green Line stations in the area were closed due to the fire.


At least one person was transported to Boston Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Boston Police and emergency responders are urging the public not to come to the area.

Aerial Video Of Fire

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