Several businesses in part of downtown Minneapolis were evacuated Tuesday afternoon after smoke poured onto the street from an underground fire.

The blaze, which was first reported about 3 p.m., was burning inside a manhole near 210 2nd St. N., in a mostly commercial area of the North Loop neighborhood between Washington Avenue N. and the Mississippi River. Patti Nystuen, a spokeswoman for Xcel Energy, said the area was evacuated and vented.

Nystuen said the fire probably was caused by overheated electrical cables or equipment, but its cause remains under investigation. No injuries were reported. Some power was lost to a handful of locations near the area of the fire, she said.

Five businesses were evacuated after the fire was reported, said Cherie Penn, assistant chief for the Minneapolis Fire Department.

 

NICOLE NORFLEET and MATT McKINNEY