Power Restored to Baltimore, Maryland City Hall After Underground Fire

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Power was restored to all of downtown Tuesday morning, after an underground fire disrupted electrical service to more than 100 downtown businesses early Monday.

By Monday evening, power had been restored to all but two buildings - City Hall and the Municipal Employees Credit Union building, said Linda Foy, a spokeswoman for the utility BGE. Power was restored to those buildings by 7 a.m., officials said.

The early morning fire Monday sent smoke and flames shooting from a manhole in what some witnesses described as a ``Roman candle affect.'' The cause remained under investigation.

More than 1,400 state employees and nearly 1,000 city employees had Monday off because there was no electricity at their offices. Nonessential city employees who work in buildings in an area of roughly 50 blocks - bounded by Monument Street, Fallsway, Baltimore Street and Charles Street - were told to stay home on Monday.

Power to most traffic lights was restored Monday afternoon, said Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin O'Malley.

Tuesday's rush hour traffic into the downtown area was proceeding normally, although traffic lights in the vicinity of the accident were not fully synchronized, city police said.