Fire in the sewer system downtown causes explosion

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by Becky Mortensen
by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE --- The Milwaukee Fire Department responded to a fire in the sewer near the Pfister Hotel Saturday evening.

The explosion startled a lot of people downtown Sunday night.  WE Energies said an electrical issue caused the fire which led to the explosion.

"We were in the parking garage and just looked out on Mason and all of a sudden...BOOM," Celeste Zaffrann said.

"Kind of a boom that shook the chandeliers [at the Pfister Hotel]," Jeannette Hurt said.

A large portion of the pavement exploded at the intersection of Mason and Jefferson.

The Milwaukee Fire Chief says the fire caused a major release of energy that caused the man hole cover to explode and make the roadway crumble.

Several people in the area reported hearing loud sounds.

The Milwaukee Police Department says the fire has been extinguished and no one was injured.

There are more than 600 people in the area without power. Both WE Energies and the Milwaukee Fire Department are on scene investigating.

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