Utility pinpointing cause of underground fire downtown

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MILWAUKEE--We Energies workers are trying to determine how an underground electrical cable my have caught fire sparking a blaze that blew off a manhole and created a huge hole in the street.

The incident happened around 5:30pm Sunday and workers remain on scene near Jefferson and Mason to continue the investigation. The fire started underground near Mason and Milwaukee and according to the utility, followed the line to Jefferson.

"This is a very rare event, but still one event is one we don't want to have," said We Energies Spokesman Brian Manthey. "We want to find out why this occurred and it may help us down the road as well to make sure we don't have another incident."

Workers are also assessing how much damage was done underground. It's unclear how long the investigation may take. Manthey said it could be a "couple of days or a day or so."

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