A fire in an underground electrical vault broke out in downtown Binghamton as nearly 200 NYSEG customers lost power.

The pavement was scorched around a NYSEG manhole cover at Washington and Susquehanna streets. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The problem developed around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday. Among the buildings that lost electric service were the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena and the Holiday Inn on Hawley Street.

A fire department duty chief said there was "quite a bit" of black smoke coming from a manhole at Washington and Susquehanna streets, just a few feet from the Arena.

The chief said there was a fire in the underground electrical vault. It burned itself out after a few minutes.

Backup generators reportedly were used to provide power to the Binghamton University Downtown Center on Washington Street and to City Hall.

The Arena box office closed early because transactions could not be processed without electricity.

Traffic signals at a few nearby downtown intersections were out of service because of the power outage.

A NYSEG supervisor said he did not know what caused the fire.

People in the area said an apparently similar problem involving the same underground electrical vault happened on June 1, knocking out power to downtown NYSEG customers.

NYSEG workers and emergency personnel outside the Binghamton University Downtown Center on June 19, 2018. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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