Many Still Without Power After Back Bay Fire

BOSTON — Crews continue to work to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in the Back Bay area after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power.

Power restoration took longer than initially anticipated. A spokesperson from NStar said they expect to have power restored to half of the 12,000 customers without power by Wednesday evening and power should be fully restored Thursday.

Police were directing traffic at major intersections where the lights are still out and encouraging people to walk or take public transit.

All MBTA stations that were closed because of the power outages have re-opened for service.

Massachusetts Highway Administrator Frank DiPaola said the speed limit in the Prudential Tunnel along the Mass Pike was been reduced Wednesday.

"A portion of the tunnel there are no lights and there is limited ventilation," DiPaola said. "So we wanted to be able to respond very quickly if there were any motor vehicle accidents this morning."

The fire, in a 115,000-volt transformer located behind the Back Bay Hilton, was reported at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and initially knocked out power to about 21,000 homes and businesses.

Fire officials say the large plumes of dark smoke at the height of the fire weren't toxic, but police were asking people to stay away. There were no reports of serious injuries reported.

The Associated Press and WBUR Newsroom contributed to this report.

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This article was originally published on March 13, 2012.

This program aired on March 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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