updated 8:30 p.m. June 13, 2005
Two MIT dormitories and a research lab lost electrical power following an underground utilities fire in Central Square on Monday for about 5 hours beginning at 3 p.m.
The fire reportedly broke out in a manhole near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Douglas Street.
Random Hall and Edgerton House and the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory were affected, as were several other buildings in the northwest area of campus. Between 5,000 and 6,000 people lost power in the area, and the Red Line was delayed. No injuries were reported.
The fire, which was caused by a utilities equipment failure on Massachusetts Avenue, was extinguished before 5:30 p.m., according to Nstar spokeswoman Caroline Allen. At that time, Nstar was still working to restore power.
During the emergency, Cambridge police shut down several blocks between Prospect and Sidney streets along Massachusetts Avenue.