Manhole Explosion on Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights

BHB tipster photo from MSleilati

BHB tipster photo from MSleilati

This just in from BHB tipster “Lou”:

There is an active manhole fire on Joralemon at the corner of Willow Place. Smoke was coming out of the manholes and the street was being closed off as I approached. Suddenly there was an explosion and I saw two manhole covers pop 8-10 feet in the air. I could see the bottom side of the covers and I was standing uphill the manholes!

Firefighters are checking the surrounding basements for potential gas leaks.

NYC Office of Emergency Management Tweets:

Multiple manhole fires near Joralemon St and Columbia Place in BK. More information to follow.

Gothamist reports subway delays/closures.


Update: 1:47pm Willowtown Cop reports that Willow Place is being evacuated.

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  • aaron

    official notification:

    Notification 1 issued on 1/18/2010 at 1:21 PM. Emergency personnel are
    on the scene of multiple manhole fires near Joralemon Street and
    Columbia Place in downtown Brooklyn. More information to follow.

  • WillowtownCop

    They are evacuating Willow Place.

  • gardenplace

    Was in my back yard at the time of the explosion. Heard a loud noise and felt a shock wave — it sounded like a building collapsed. Helicopters are now overhead.

  • j on hicks

    i live on hicks – my bedroom faces willow pl. my windows shook the explosion was so powerful —- are they really evacuating willow place? hicks street is closed between state and joralemon right now.

  • WillowtownCop

    A cop on the scene told me they were evacuating Willow Place. I’m not speaking with any official inside information. He said Columbia Place was fine.

  • columbia

    i am on columbia place and my building shook. scary.

  • T.K. Small

    My father’s bedroom window is on the backside of 2 Great Court. He is somewhat hard of hearing and reports that the noise was very loud.

  • T.K. Small

    Obviously, that should have read “2 Grace Court”. Darn Voice Recognition Software!

  • shanny

    I live at One Willow….the entire building shook and it was LOUD! We were evacuated as were all of our neighbors at 1pm. No news on anything as yet! Manhole cover blew early, they checked for gas leaks in the willow place basements…no issues! I have heard there may have been a subway tunnel explosion??? Little nervous and shook up…sent in a pic of the buckled cobblestone……the fireman saud he hit the deck and his knees were still shaking!

  • OnJoralemon

    We live at Joralemon and Garden. Heard the LOUD explosion, thought a crane had fallen or there had been some sort of construction accident. When we went outside around 1:30 pm, the street was cordoned off and about 5 fire trucks filled the street. Our building smells like gas. Freaky.

  • patiently waiting

    are residents of willow place allowed back into their homes yet?

  • Drew B

    I live right by Hicks and Joralemon. We felt the explosion and heard a loud clang that I am assuming was the manhole covers landing. Joralemon is still closed between Columbia and Hrnry. Hicks is closed to all but residents from state to Joralemon. Tre subways had also stopped running at 2PM, not sure if they are back moving.

  • Dan
  • aaron

    in all the pictures, it looks like joralemon is roped off up at hicks. anyone know if residents can get through?

    ie can i go home tonight after work without major hassles?

  • patiently waiting

    they’re doing some work on willow and joralemon, but they’ve taken down most of the yellow tape & blockades. you should be good trying to get back home.

  • explosion

    I wonder: If one of the illegally parked MD cars would have been hit by a manhole cover, would the insurance cover that?

  • bklyn20

    Explo and friends — pls see my post on first item on page. Most people are in their homes now, but streets are still pretty blocked up.