A pair of early morning manhole fires in Queens Thursday sent five people to the hospital and burned out two cars.
The fires broke out shortly after 1 a.m. at 75th Street and 88th Road in Woodhaven.
Resident Ines Sanabria shot video of the flames with her cellphone and says it was a very scary scene.
"Some people started coming out because the smoke was so, it was horrible, people were choking and gasping and the people across the street they were screaming," Sanabria said.
Across the street, resident Linda Carrasquillo says five people inside her home were overcome with the smoke. They were all taken to the hospital, including her three young grandchildren.
"We saw the flames as the neighbors started screaming and I was calling 911, everyone was calling. It was, we were scared that this house was going to explode," Carrasquillo said.
Con Ed says the manhole fires were the result of a failure of the underground wiring system.
They spent the better part of the morning working to remove burnt cables.
Residents say they have seen Con Ed trucks in the neighborhood over the past few days before the fire and wonder if that had anything to do with the cause.
The utility says any work done in the area was unrelated to the incident.
A total of five patients were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
All are expected to be okay.