AN underground fire has cut the electrical power to houses on a major Bradford road.

The blaze occurred just before 10am this morning after it was spotted at a manhole cover on Wrose Road.

Facebook page Windhill & Wrose Councillors - made up of Susan Hinchcliffe, Alex Ross-Shaw, and Liz Rowe - said the fire occurred under the footpath on the road close to Plumpton Lea.

At 11am, they added: "Electrical power to houses in the local vicinity on both sides of Wrose Road has been cut off by the fire.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Work ongoing at the scene Work ongoing at the scene (Image: Newsquest)

"The electric company have been advised and they are deploying an emergency repairs team.

"They will need to identify the fault that started the underground fire and then repair it, so it could take some time."

Firefighters were sent to the scene and extinguished the blaze using powder.

A spokesperson for the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said: "We were called at 9.45am to reports of fire spotted at a manhole cover on Wrose Road.

"We sent one crew from Shipley to the scene and informed our partners at Northern Powergrid and Northern Gas.

"We used powder to extinguish the fire."

"I saw the fire," said a worker at Shanuka News and Off-Licence on Wrose Road.

"At first there was a black-coloured foggy smoke coming from underground.

"Then it caught fire. It burned with fury.

"People were worried there would be a blast, so they moved away.

"But the fire service's response was very quick. They got it under control."

The worker added: "The lights went out at around 10pm.

"It's the first time that's happened here in seven years.

"It's knocked out power at a few other shops in this area.

"I just hope it comes back on soon. I'm worried about the frozen food and milk."

One resident said: "There was loads of smoke and then you could see the fire 

"The wind would hit it and it would die down. But it keeps coming back more fierce."

She added: "My electrics went out and I thought 'oh my god'.

"I heard someone say 'you better get out, you don't know what's under there'. 

"I was panicking.

"Someone said it made the manhole cover blow off.

"I heard a neighbour's alarm go off and their dogs were going berserk."

Wrose Road resident Robert Pounder, who lives a few down from where the fire started, said: "I was upstairs when I heard a bang.

"It was was on fire. After I heard the pop, the lights were flickering.

"When the lights were on, they kept going duller and then brighter.

"It also made the radio turn on. Then it kept going on and off, so I pulled the plug.

"I think the electricity shut the power off at around 10.30am."

Describing the fire, Mr Pounder said that the flames rose to just over a foot off the ground.

Northern Powergrid said the incident was believed to have been caused after a section of its network was damaged following severe weather, including heavy rain.

A spokesperson for Northern Powergrid said: "On January 31, at around 10am we were made aware of a fault on an underground cable on Wrose Road which caused a power cut for 20 customers.

"Our teams attended, ensured electricity supplies were safely isolated and then carried out the necessary repairs to restore power for our customers by around 4.15pm that day.

"We sent our customers text updates to keep them informed and one of our Proactive Customer Responders was in the community supporting residents - especially our priority services customers who may be more vulnerable in a power cut due to their medical or personal circumstances. 

"They provided hot water, hot food and drinks, mobile phone charging facilities, hot water bottles and our winter warmer care packs."

The spokesperson added: "When a fault like this happens, heat - from the electricity passing through the equipment and cables - is generated where the damage is and, in some situations, this can result in the section of network generating smoke and burning.

"Our priority is to ensure this area of our network is safely isolated so we can complete the work needed to get customers' power back on."

Nick Thersby, operations manager for Northern Gas Networks, said: "Northern Gas Networks were informed of an electrical fire on Wrose Road, Bradford, by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service on January 31.

"Emergency engineers attended the scene and ensured that the situation was safe. 

"We can confirm that the cause of the fire was not gas related."