As of this morning, February 8, all lanes of Santa Monica Blvd have been reopened, and power restored to the affected areas following its closure and the evacuation of The Gap store yesterday.
Santa Monica Fire Department: At 5:55pm February 7, 2016 Santa Monica Fire Department began receiving multiple calls of black smoke issuing from a manhole cover at 3rd and Santa Monica Boulevard.
This area is popularly known as “3rd Street Promenade”.
4 Engines, a Ladder Truck, a Hazardous Materials Unit, and a Battalion Chief Supervisor all responded to the call. Upon their arrival they found an underground, high voltage, electrical vault fire.
This fire was extending smoke and heat, by way of underground conduits, to a neighboring 4 story retail building (The Gap).
Santa Monica Fire Units entered the Gap to check the spread of heat by ventilating the structure, isolated the underground vault from large crowds in the area, and ultimately closed Santa Monica Boulevard.
The Gap store was closed, as a result of the heat and smoke entering its electrical room. The public was evacuated as a result of this heat and smoke.
Three Firefighters who entered the store’s electrical room, were transported to a local hospital for signs of a possible toxic skin exposure. They were released 3 hours later.
No injuries were reported to any civilians. Southern California Edison was on scene making repairs to the electrical equipment.
Santa Monica Fire Department would like to remind the public to be vigilant to electrical problems in our congested Down Town areas, stay away from downed power lines, and dial 911 to report smoke or anything suspicious with our City’s electrical infrastructure.