BREAKING: NYU Buildings Evacuated Due to Nearby Manhole Fires

Jemima McEvoy and Natasha Roy

Several manhole fires were reported on Friday morning near Broadway and 12th St., according to an email to students from Vice President of Public Safety Marlon Lynch.

The email said that the fire Department of New York and Con Edison — an electricity services provider — are on the scene and working to extinguish the flames. The email also reported that the FDNY is evacuating some buildings in the area, and although no NYU residence halls have been affected, Public Safety will continue to monitor the situation.

“The fires have disrupted pedestrian and vehicle traffic as well as some public transportation,” Lynch’s email said. “Please give yourself extra time when travelling through the area.”

An email from Public Safety at 8:52 a.m. was sent to occupants of 838 Broadway that said due to the power shut off that would happen shortly, 838 Broadway was being asked to evacuate. The email requested that those in the building use the freight elevator to evacuate.

“We have been monitoring the situation by collaborating with FDNY,” Lynch said in his statement to WSN.

Stern freshman Vivian Li, who lives in Founders Residence Hall, said that though she did not see much, she heard sirens when she got to class — she heard the explosion early in the morning.

“Around 8 a.m. or so, there was a huge bang that woke me up,” Li said. “I thought it was a lightning strike because it was so loud. Apparently my friends at Brittany heard it, as well as people in UHall.”

Li also noticed that there were several construction sites blocked off.

This is a developing story. Please check back as we update with more information.


Director of Emergency Management Jeff Stevens said that the university is continuing to monitor the situation, and ConEd is on scene assessing the infrastructure before beginning repairs.

“As [Marlon Lynch] mentioned, 838 Broadway had to be evacuated because they had cut power to the building,” Stevens said. “The building was not directly affected by the manhole fires, but it was on the same electrical circuit. This was an administrative office for NYU IT and [the Silver School for Professional Studies].”

He said that no NYU dorms were affected, but there are reports that students and staff heard an initial large boom because of the ignition.

Email Jemima McEvoy and Natasha Roy at [email protected].