We Energies crews continue to investigate downtown explosion

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Crews worked to restore power on Monday, February 11th following  an explosion underground on Mason Street in downtown Milwaukee on Sunday night.

About 600 customers were without power, but We Energies told FOX6 News power was restored by noon.

Crews responded to the scene around 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening for reports of smoke coming through a manhole.

Upon arrival, officials discovered the smoke was the result of an explosion in an underground electrical cable, and quickly called for backup.

Shortly after support arrived on the scene a second explosion and fire blew off a manhole cover and obliterated the concrete about a half block away.

During the secondary explosion, a woman was knocked to the ground by the blast, but she refused treatment at a hospital.

When Sam Watts of Watts Tea Shop heard there had been an underground explosion outside his store, he was unnerved to say the least!

"We have quite a bit of merchandise that is extremely fragile and it could easily have been broken, even if it was jostled slightly it could have fallen off shelves," Watts said.

Bill Delind, owner of Delind Gallery of Fine Art is in the same building, and had similar concerns.

"It's only 20 feet from the corner of my gallery where we've got all this fine artwork," Delind said.

Neither Watts or Delind saw any damage due to the explosion.

Now, We Energies crews are working to uncover what caused the problem.

"If it's pretty basic that it's a cable and it's the only issue, then hopefully it won't take very long," We Energies Spokesman Brian Manthey said.

We Energies crews say they'll be working on the problem around the clock until it is resolved.

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