ST. LOUIS – Part of Washington Avenue near America’s Center in Downtown St. Louis remained closed Tuesday night, more than 20 hours after an underground electrical fire was discovered around 1:30 a.m.
Charred pavement surrounded a manhole from where the fire was coming out.
Traffic on Washington between 6th and 8th streets was reduced to one lane in each direction.
Ameren Missouri workers and equipment filled the north side of Washington. The big issue was flushing out the smoke so an Ameren team could go in and assess the damage and lay out a repair plan.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, air quality under the pavement was still too poor for the workers to make an entry.
An Ameren spokeswoman told Fox 2/News 11 workers were able to send cameras down to make sure the fire was completely out, figure out how it started, and get an idea on needed repairs. The cameras helped identify damaged circuits and cables. Workers were expected to remain on the scene through Friday, she said.
Until then, traffic will remain restricted on Washington and a portion of 7th Street will remain closed.
Luckily, no customers—from the convention center to the surrounding hotels—lost power.