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Service Restored After Manhole, Power Line Fires Knock Out Power For Hundreds In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Power is now back on for more than 1,000 people in Queens, where many residents woke up to a loud bang and the smell of burning rubber.

Officials said an underground cable caught fire, triggering manhole explosions and fires on some overhead power lines around 6 a.m. at 95th Avenue near 96th Street in Ozone Park.

"There was black smoke spewing out of the manhole, the manhole cover was rattling and all of sudden it just blew off," said resident Michael Hudson. "It ignited the telephone wires, there was fire."

"It was like a popping noise, like firecracker noise, and then it gave a loud bang," one man said.

"It was like 4th of July early this year," another man said.

Resident Charles Cox said the overhead wires were burning and dripping onto the ground. The wires were eventually reduced to a mangled and melted mess that even destroyed a flower pot, CBS 2's Janelle Burrell reported.

Of all her neighbors, resident Eliana Guerron may have had the roughest morning of all, Burell reported.

Her car was parked above one of the manholes at the time of the explosion and was damaged.

"I have to go to the mechanic," Guerron said.

Con Ed told her to file a claim so she's hoping to get reimbursed for the repairs, Guerron said.

Con Ed officials said they are still not sure what caused the underground fire, but that it does not appear to have been weather related.

The utility said 1,164 customers lost service for about two hours.

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