Firefighters battle underground fire in Jo'burg

At least 30 firefighters were working on dousing an underground fire in the Johannesburg CBD on Monday morning, emergency services said.

Spokesperson Percy Morokane said they had been working since early Sunday evening to contain the electrical fire after a pedestrian noticed
smoke billowing out of a manhole on the corner of Loveday and Jeppe streets.

The response car that arrived on the scene quickly called for back up and four fire engines from Berea Central, Fairview and Brixton arrived, with another fire engine arriving later from Modderfontein.

With thick toxic smoke, poor ventilation and low visibility, the firefighters worked through the night using foam to suffocate the flames.

“Underground fires are difficult and complex to fight,” explained Morokane.

Meanwhile, businesses in about 40 street blocks had no electricity on Monday morning and traffic lights were out of order.

City Power spokesperson Louis Pieterse warned: “A majority of customers in affected areas won’t have power for a number of days.” - Sapa

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