The Back Bay Fire: Aftermath

By WGBH News & Wires

Mar. 14, 2012

back bay fire

The fire in the Back Bay as seen from Cambridge. (Tom Stohlman/Flickr)

Update: Damage Estimated at $2.5 Million

BOSTON — On Tuesday night, a smoky NStar transformer fire plunged much of the Back Bay into darkness. As of Wednesday morning, some 11,000 homes and businesses were still without power and two subway stops remained closed. At a press conference, representatives from NStar said that the company planned to have all power restored tonight after the evening commute.

Host Emily Rooney's power wasn't back up in her Back Bay apartment Wednesday when she talked to guests about the experience. She herself found it "eerie" to see the red beacon on top of the Pru through the night. The whole event was startling: "That's the reason you live in the city: There's never power outages in the city!"
WGBH News contributor Garrett Quinn called the scene "remarkably civil." He was on his way into Boston from Cambridge when "I looked up and I see — the city's dark!" When he got into the Back Bay, he was surprised to see that "everybody just seemed to go about their business like if there wasn't this major loss of a utility in a major American city."
Melissa from Cambridge experienced "a lot more chaos," with cars running through the intersection and a man telling her the smoke was toxic, "like an Armageddon movie, very dramatic." 

Still, she noted, there was more light in the blackout then she would have expected: "Maybe it's those stars we can't usually see."  

Emily Rooney contributor Garrett Quinn took this video Tuesday night.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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