Firefighters fought a heavy fire on Tuesday night while police diverted traffic and evacuated a nearby apartment complex.
The fire started shortly after 8 pm. When a Florida Power & Light substation was hit by lightning on Northeast Sixth Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale, a police spokeswoman said.
Thousands of Fort Lauderdale residents sat in the dark on Tuesday night after losing power around 8:05 pm. 19659002] Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone said the Regal Trace apartment complex had been evacuated in an abundance of caution. To protect the drivers, the officers also closed roads near the flame.
"We divert traffic from the fire," said Figone.
The fire put out street lights and traffic signals along busy streets like Broward and Sunrise from boulevards.
The Broward Center for Performing Arts reportedly had to be closed on Tuesday night.
"It was completely dark shortly after 8 pm," a woman tweeted there for a show.
Several people participated on Twitter and Instagram, photos and videos of flames and black smoke that were widely visible.
Florida Power & Light reports that more than 20,000 customers lost power at Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night. It was unclear if the outbreak had caused all the failures.
FPL officials expected power to restart at 22:30.
Fort Lauderdale Rescue Leader Stephen Gollan could not be reached immediately for a comment.
But several media reported that the crew had the fire under control.
Shawn Williams told WSVN-Ch. He heard four explosions just before the fire broke out.
"[It was] so scary and the explosions were so loud," he said. "It was unbelievable."
This is an evolving story. Please look for updates.
Susannah Bryan can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4554. Find her on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan .