For the third time since July, a manhole cover exploded in downtown Brockton from an underground fire, officials said.
Around 11:30 Tuesday evening, a 100-pound manhole was sent flying after wiring caught fire. Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said water from Tuesday’s storm and road salt likely caused the wires to spark. Some of the wiring dates to the 1920s, he said.
The manhole cover has not been found, he said. No one was injured.
Despite the explosions and fires, the downtown is safe, Carpenter said.
Firefighters had to wait for National Grid to cut the power before they could extinguish the flames. Brockton Fire Deputy Chief Jerry Kenney said it will be up National Grid to prevent further fires.
In July, an underground fire caused a major explosion and prompted National Grid to inspect 140 manholes downtown. As of Tuesday, National Grid had inspected 110, and replaced secondary wiring in 16.
“The common denominator between the three [manhole fires] was faulty secondary wiring,” Carpenter said. A small underground fire broke out in January. The three fires have all happened within a few blocks of each other, Kenney said.
On Wednesday, National Grid pledged to put more workers in downtown Brockton to inspect the rest of the manholes by Friday. National Grid could not immediately be reached for comment.