Underground electrical fire in Downtown Baltimore

Posted at 5:55 AM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 17:22:05-05

Baltimore City fire crews were at the scene of an underground electrical fire in Downtown Baltimore. 

Officials said it started around 2:40 a.m. Thursday. 

Flames and thunderous cracks flashed through a manhole on Charles Street near the intersection of Redwood St. causing the lights to flicker and the ground to shake.

The fire department reported high levels of carbon monoxide in the sub-basement of the Delta Hotel. No one was in that area, or exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide. 

Firefighters monitored all levels of the hotel with guests to ensure the levels of carbon monoxide were safe.


BGE crews shut down all lanes of Charles Street from Lombard to Redwood for several hours. They were reopened around 8:45 a.m.  

BGE shut down the power leading to the vault where several wires connect, to stop make the fire manageable.

The sparks, according to Baltimore City Fire Chief John Eid, were from arching electricity jumping from one wire to another. The sparks caught insulation and other material in the underground tube on fire.

BGE is replacing the malfunctioning wire with new wire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.