Blast Triggers 4-Alarm Blaze in Harlem

NY Post - July 21, 2011

by SABRINA FORD and REBECCA HARSHBARGER

An explosion rocked a city water treatment plant in Upper Manhattan today and sparked a large blaze that forced the evacuation of 1,000 people, officials said.

Plant workers were evacuated after the blast in the engine room on West 135th Street, near Twelfth Avenue around 11:45 a.m.

None were injured, but fuel in the plant caused the blaze to hit four alarms, said a fire department spokesman.

Streets were temporarily closed and a park was evacuated.

It took 170 firefighters about three hours to place the fire under control around 3 p.m.

Power is switched off at the plant, but the city hopes to reopen it soon, said a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

The city's water faces no health risks from the disruption caused by the blaze.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.