An underground fire in St. Petersburg has knocked out power in the downtown area.
St. Pete Fire Rescue reports an underground transformer started smoking and exploded in the area of Third Street and Central Avenue.
There are no reported injuries, but power is out in the downtown area.
Tony Maagiafico owns a downtown restaurant and says he was inside of Ruby’s Elixir meeting with other bar owners from this block when they heard the explosion.
"We were scared. We kind of jumped," he said. "It made the building shake and the ground shook. It was a couple of pops maybe a minute or two after."
An underground fire shut down part of Third Street North and Central Avenue, knocking out power for a couple of hours Sunday.
And now a transformer fire in the same area.
Duke Energy spokeswoman Suzanne Grant says they’re trying to figure out the cause and if the two are related.
"We’re working to try and establish temporary power and do a root cause analysis to determine what happened and how we can make a permanent solution and a permanent fix," Grant said.
Duke Energy is working to get the power restored, but the utility company says power should be restored by 9 a.m. Crews are installing a temporary transformer.
Josh Cameron owns the Oyster Bar and Fortunato’s Pizza. He’s had to shut the doors of his businesses because of the power outage.
"It’s just unfortunate that we went through this process on Sunday and now it’s Monday night and we’re doing it all over again and unfortunalty we’re missing out on so much business," he said.
The area affected is Central Avenue to 1st Avenue, North and 3rd Street North east to 2nd Street.
Nearby business owners who weren’t affected by this outage are reaching out to affected restaurants, offering their freezers and any help they can provide.
If the power isn’t back up soon these business owners say they’re told generators will be provided.