Several hundred Dover residents were in the dark early Monday morning thanks to an underground fire that caused some explosions.

Dover City Manager Mike Joyal told Seacoast Current that there was an electrical issue in an alley behind some buildings downtown that caused a fire in some underground electrical vaults.

"It also affected some electrical equipment inside the adjoining buildings, and created some fire and smoke conditions. I don't know the extent of the damage," Joyal said. "Evesource had to shut down power to the majority of the downtown so they could get the fire under control."

Dover fire Chief Michael McShane told WMUR that power was shut off to about 700 customers at around midnight, when the fires blew manhole covers off with fire showing.

A post on the (un)Official City of Dover Facebook page reported hearing a loud explosion followed by a power outage, although the timing was off from the WMUR report.

"It was around 1:30-2 and I heard it happen about three or four times," Ashley Libby wrote.

"I heard loud explosion of some sort at 1:30 a.m. then three more times that hour. It was super scary then power went out," Olesja Allen wrote.

Natalie Buelvas said she heard four booms around 1:47am. Diane Freeman said her building shook slightly when she heard the explosions.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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