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Light Rail Service Restored Downtown After Electrical Fire

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- T riders are breathing a sigh of relief.

The entire rail system opened back up around 6 p.m. Sunday after a fire that started around 12:30 Sunday afternoon.

"We had a report of a fire with smoke in the subway at the First Avenue station, however in route, we noticed smoke coming out of the subway grates also up here at Steel Plaza," Deputy Chief Michael Mullen with the Bureau of Fire said.

Smoke filled the streets.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"That's a very common occurrence of all types of electrical fires because of the insulation that's involved with them. The insulation burns and sets off a heavy dense smoke," Mullen said.

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The Port Authority says a conduit box likely caught fire. Just three months ago, a fire broke out in the same general vicinity after a circuit breaker failed.

"We don't know if it's the same issue. Our operations division is going to investigate and see if the same issue and if they need to do anything to resolve it so it doesn't happen again," Port Authority spokesperson Adam Brandolph said.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, however, some people had to be evacuated.

"There were no rail cars in the vicinity of the area so everybody was fine. Everybody was off their cars safely and very promptly," Brandolph said.

Firefighters used what they call a 'High Rise Plan' which made the fire three alarms initially.

With teamwork, things will be up and running for rush hour Monday morning.

"It was mostly a concern because our Sunday service is normally not that large, but come Monday morning, a lot of people will be served," Brandolph said.

The Port Authority wants to warn folks to ignore any emergency broadcasts they might hear since the T is back up and running.


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