Part of a busy city centre street has been cordoned off after an underground fire reached above the surface in big flashes of flame.
West Midlands Police said the flames seen on New Street, Birmingham, shortly before 17:00 GMT were caused by an electrical fault below.
West Midlands Fire Service said it was liaising with power suppliers to isolate the problem electrics.
There are no reports of injuries, police say.
They add the public is not thought to be at risk.
Shoppers and workers who were about to make their way home have been sharing images of the scene, where tram travel has been disrupted.
The fire service said it would tackle the blaze from within a service hatch, once Western Power Distribution had been able to isolate the electrics.
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