The exact cause of an underground fire reported in downtown Erie is still under investigation by Penelec.

The fire sent firefighters and city police into action shortly after 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

The first call was for smoke pouring out of the street grates at 10th and State Street near Sluggers Bar.  The first firefighters to arrive on the scene said they say heavy smoke streaming up from underground.

As a result, State Street from 11th Street to 9th was, and still is closed off.

Firefighters also called for city police officers to put up barricades from 9th to 13th Street.

Nearby, another Penelec crew was stationed  on East 11th Street to inspect a problem they found at an electrical substation. it is not known at this time whether or not that problem had a direct affect on the incident at East 10th.

Around 8:15 this evening,  Penelec shut down the underground power grid connected to the line in question so that crews could safely investigate a possible cause.

As of now, power is still out on State Street, so please, drive with caution.

According to Penelec, power should be restored no later 12:30 AM.

We will update you with more information as it becomes available.