Cambridge fire crews responded to a manhole explosion at Everett and Oxford streets at around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Lesley University evacuated some of its buildings -- the campus surrounds the intersection -- and both streets have been closed, with officials fearing another explosion.
Cambridge fire crews responded to a manhole explosion at Everett and Oxford streets at around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Firefighters were called to the scene after reports came in about smoke coming from the sewer covers of two manholes on Oxford Street.
“Eventually flames started shooting up,” said Cambridge Deputy Chief Paul Sheehan.
Sheehan said firefighters were able to put out the flames.
Since its campus surrounds the intersection, Lesley University evacuated some of its buildings – including White Hall and the McKenna Student Center – and both streets have been closed, with officials fearing another explosion.
NSTAR came to the scene and shut the power off to the area. Some students from Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and Lesley University sat outside for hours waiting for the scene to clear.
“It seemed like fireworks were going off,” said Eileen Hosmer-Mullen, who was evacuated from the sixth floor of Lesley’s White Hall on Everett Street.
Other students say they heard two separate explosions, one around 12:30 p.m. and another at 12:45 p.m.
“It set off car alarms,” said John Horgan, who was also inside White Hall.
Sheehan said the manhole explosions were similar to an incident that occurred in Harvard Square last year. No injuries have been reported.
By 2:45 p.m., fire and police crews were on their way to re-opening the streets.
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