Today’s news:

Transformer fire knocks out power in Douglaston

More than 100 Douglaston homes and businesses were without power Friday morning after a Con Ed transformer was destroyed in a three-alarm fire.

Hundreds of firefighters, Con Edison workers and police rushed to 244th Street and Northern Boulevard shortly before 8 a.m. following an explosion at the Con Ed substation located near the intersection. Residents who live near the station, which houses a electrical transformer, were quickly evacuated from the area and there were no reported injures, according to the FDNY.

“I heard the explosion and the electricity started flickering,” said Marcelle Abikaram, who lives near the substation.

Fire crews fought for nearly three hours to put the fire out as police crews diverted traffic away from the transformer. Smoke from the blaze was visible as far away as the Throgs Neck Bridge.

Firefighters had to wait for Con Ed crews to turn off the electricity to the surrounding streets of before they attacked the fire with water and foam. City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said roughly 109 customers were without power as of noon but the utility was working to restore electricity later in the day.

“Because of the way the transformer was built, they can switch to another one, and reroute the power,” said the councilman, who was at the scene.

Fire officials said they did not know what caused the fire and the investigation was continuing Friday afternoon.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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