DOZENS of residents were left without electricity after an underground cable alert in South Tyneside.
People in Simonside, South Shields, called the fire brigade after spotting smoke rising from a pavement in Dame Flora Robson Avenue.
Firefighters attended after 9.30am yesterday and the area was cordoned off for a time, as a safety precaution.
A power cut disrupted electricity supplies to homes in four streets in the Simonside area for almost four hours.
Residents told how they saw smoke rising from a footpath before they lost power supplies.
One man in Dame Flora Robson Avenue said: “The bairn came in and said there was smoke coming out of the pavement.
“The telly went off and alarms sounded and someone thought an electricity cable had caught fire underground.”
A South Shields fire spokesman said crews attended after reports of an underground cable failing and lighting up a footpath.
Four homes initially had their power turned off and part of Dame Flora Robson Avenue was closed, to prevent any potential risk from electricity cables.
A spokesman for the Northern Power Grid said: “A total of 68 properties were affected.
“It’s thought the problems were caused by an underground cable fault.
“The streets hit by a cut in supplies were Dame Flora Robson Avenue, Ayrey Avenue, Winskell Road and one property in Henderson Road.
“It looked as though something had blown underground.
“Power supplies were restored at 1.14pm.”