Manhole Cover Pops; Cupcake Shop Evacuated

Smell from manhole explosion prompted evacuation of Georgetown Cupcake. | Robert Devaney

A manhole cover exploded on 33rd Street near the C&O Canal and flamed briefly mid-morning March 25. As a Pepco crew attended to short-circuited wires, the smell moved up the street. At 33rd and M Streets, a customer at Georgetown Cupcake smelled smoke. D.C. Fire & EMS responded to the report with a show of force, calling out trucks from Georgetown, the West End and U Street. More than 10 fire department trucks, SUVs and a hook-and-ladder lined M Street. Police closed one lane to traffic.

“Maybe they burned the cupcakes,” said one passer-by at the intersection. A fire department official said neither smoke nor any gas leak had come from the bakery or buildings at the corner but was from the blown-out manhole down 33rd Street. Adding to the momentary excitement was NBC4 News’s Pat Collins, who was on the scene, looking for a story to tell. Meanwhile, a small line waited near the entrance of Georgetown Cupcake, where, by the way, Passover macaroons are available through April 2. Soon enough, it was all over, and the shop reopened.

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