BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Residents and business owners in Bed-Stuy say manhole fires led to a major blackout in the area Wednesday.

A grocery store owner on Fulton Ave. said he saw smoke coming out of a manhole in front of his store. He saw panicking people running down the street and feared it could be another steam pipe explosion.

Other residents said they saw a similar scene along Bedford Avenue down to Marcy Avenue.

Con Ed said it sent crews right away to reinforce the underground systems. A company spokesperson said Con Ed is investigating, and added that fires and outages are sometimes caused by an overuse of power in the area.