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Source: Citizen App

From the street, the iconic Tiffany & Co. building in Midtown NYC was engulfed in a cloud of thick gray smoke on Thursday morning. From the electrical vault in the morning came plumes of heavy smoke caused by the eruption of an underground transformer underneath the Fifth Avenue Building.

Luckily the fire was an isolated issue separate from the Tiffany building, so the newly redesigned flagship store avoided any catastrophe. No smoke ever entered the store or the basement of the building, although there appears to be some minor smoke damage to the exterior of the building.

“It was an underground transformer, either overheating or some type of electrical issue,” FDNY Battalion 8 Chief Richard Blasi told reporters in Midtown.

About 150 firefighters responded, with crews putting water on the smoldering transformer and spraying water though the grate outside the front door of the building on 57th street.

Source: New York Post

“It’s an outside transformer fire, which had nothing to do with the [Tiffany’s building]. It was isolated. All we had to do was stand by and make sure there was no extension until ConEd cut the power to it." Explained Blasi.

Con Edison spokesman, Alfonso Quiroz confirmed this saying “It was an electrical fire” and noted that the exact cause was still being investigated.

Source: New York Post

As a precaution, Firefighters had to evacuate everyone inside. Nearly 100 people were removed, and two suffered minor injuries in the process according to Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Carlsen. The fire began at 9:30am, and since Tiffany’s was set to open at 10:00am, there were luckily no customers inside the store itself.

Thanks to the quick response of the New York Fire Department, the worst was avoided in this situation. Tiffany & Co. has not confirmed whether any inventory was damaged in the fire, although based on current reports from FDNY it seems unlikely. The store, made famous by the 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn, has since reopened and is back to their normal business hours.

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