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Fires in the holes shut Harvard Square

Flaming manhole
Flaming manhole this morning.

The Crimson reports on flaming manholes early this morning:

A fire started underground on the corner of Mass Ave and Dunster Street was visible through several manholes in the Square this morning. Harvard's Holyoke Center, Cambridge Savings Bank, Au Bon Pain, and other nearby institutions were evacuated, and automobile access to the Square had been severely restricted by the Cambridge Fire Department. ...

NeutralSurface took photos, including the one on the right.

Quelle mess!

Channel 5 reports. NECN has video on "the underground mechanical failure" as well (great fire-AND-ice NECN screen capture).

Sushiesque was on the scene later in the morning taking photos of the aftermath:

Mishka gets the day off.

Michael: On second thought, maybe I'll go to Yale.

Crispyfoods captures Old Flameful outside the Pit:

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Comments

Blame the punx in the Pit!

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Isn't this the hellfire and damnation they ordered up special for Cambridge just because gay people get to officially wake up to bed head, morning breath, and hungry kids now too?

You think that Camenker himself would show up as soon as he heard that Harvard had the hottest manholes in the state!

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When I went by this morning, it wasn't possible even to walk through Harvard Square. My office on Mt. Auburn Street is unaffected, though.

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Here's what's odd-- I came in to the area about 8:45/8:50am, and traffic was notably lighter than usual (like a school vacation day's level of traffic), there was little police presence, and I had no problems at all. I came in from Porter down Mass Ave and parked on Church, no problems at all. Even found a space, and there were a couple empty. It feels like a weekend here. Very strange.

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I love the composition on jborgen's photo. It's a shame the FF was cropped out, but otherwise it's great.

I love how SOP these days for a FD is to just sit around:

“We were letting it burn out on it’s own. We weren’t trying to extinguish it because we weren’t sure what kind of electrical volts were running through there,” said Burns.

Well shit, standing around getting a tan watching the fire cause more damage to other infrastructure/property, release toxic smoke, and inconveniencing everyone in one of metro-Boston's busiest squares...sure beats calling up Nstar and having to doing work! :)

Or taking any steps to extinguish the fire, like cutting off its flow of air, or using something other than water to put the fire out...

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Because who can't stand to see more flaming manholes? From Channel 5 (although I'm disappointed the Great Oz didn't come out from behind the flames):

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... you embed the video? I tried to embed the video in my comment above, but nothing showed up.

Is there a tag I can use that I missed below?

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I'd imagine he doesn't want to share because people (like the trolls as an example) will start embedding Rick Astley clips or 2g1c.

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I should come up with a better trusted-user system to let folks who've been around for awhile embed videos.

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I got the marshmallows ... who has chocolate and graham crackers? Sticks?

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People wearing highly combustible hemp clothing should avoid Harvard Square until further notice.

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For a surprise or two.

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