SUNSET PARK - Some Sunset Park residents on 55th Street say Con Edison had reason to suspect problems ahead of area manhole fires.

According to some residents, their lights began flickering Saturday night and early Sunday. They say they called Con Edison, but the problem was not fixed. Sunday afternoon, approximately 300 residents were evacuated when manhole fires sent deadly carbon monoxide into some homes.

Residents feel the carbon monoxide release could have been avoided had Con Edison paid attention to the flickering lights. Con Edison acknowledges that it received 11 calls about the lights. However, they say crews did not nip the problem in the bud sooner because customers with no lights at all are prioritized over flickering lights.

Con Edison officials confirm melting snow conditions often lead to manhole fires. They add the first sign of possible corroded cables, cited as the cause of the fires, is flickering lights.

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