SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There was an underground explosion and fire at a street level manhole at the intersection of South Orange Ave. and Sloan St. on Friday, stated Daniel Sullivan, Deputy Chief of the South Orange Fire Department, in a release.
According to the release, the South Orange Fire Department responded to a telephone report and upon arrival "found that an underground explosion had occurred in two street level manhole locations which housed various types of electrical wiring and electrical transformer equipment."
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) responded immediately to assess and take the necessary actions to stabilize the situation, sending multiple units from the Electric and Gas Divisions, according to Sullivan.
Following the investigation it was determined that the cause of the explosion beneath the road surface was due to electrical malfunction, and that there was no natural gas involvement, according to the release from the South Orange Fire Department.
Several intersecting roadways were temporarily closed by South Orange police, and traffic was diverted for about two hours while utility workers and emergency service personnel worked to stabilize the scene.
Several area stores were evacuated as a precautionary measure in the early stages of the incident in the interest of public safety, and were able to resume their normal operations at about 5:15 p.m.
All roadways in the vicinity of the incident were re-opened to traffic at about 6:15 p.m.
No injuries were reported.
PSE&G will need to return to make repairs, possibly on Saturday, Dec. 3, according to South Orange police.