Councilor Ross: 'This Is Disturbing'

By WGBH News & Wires

Mar. 16, 2012

boston fire

Firefighters pack up hose on Huntington Avenue. (Boston Fire Dept.)

BOSTON — As of 2 a.m. Friday, power had been restored in the Back Bay. But the city's stress level continued to run high, not helped by manhole fires Thursday that led the Boston Police Department to close off a section of Huntington Avenue.
"I think there's only so much patience people can have," said city councilor Michael Ross. "This is disturbing."
Back Bay resident Brian Clague was right on Scotia Street when the trouble began Mar. 13. "I saw this little plume of smoke coming out of the building and it was the wrong color," he said. He thought it was just a small fire and went to have dinner with a friend on Columbus — "and then all of a sudden, the power went out."
Among the questions not yet answered — apart from why, exactly, the transformer failed, a question NStar spokesman Michael Durand said would be tackled after the immediate crisis — is what effect the thick smoke might have on residents' health. Clague breathed in some of it and called it "very black and toxic."
Ross said he was waiting for the Boston Public Health Commission to weigh in but "obviously that smoke is not good for you."
Earlier in the day, mayor Thomas Menino held a press conference demanding restitution.
Ross was also concerned about that, saying, "The economic impact … it's in the millions" for residents and businesses.
He added, "A city like Boston can't go down for two days."

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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