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ST PAUL, MN-Many of the buildings in the Central Business District lost power for more than an hour Wednesday after a fire broke out in anunderground utility area. Some buildings were evacuated, elevators stopped running, cash registers stopped working and restaurants were forced to throwaway food and serve cold fare.

The cause was a fire that began in an underground vault near The St. PaulCos. at Fifth and Washington streets that housed power lines serving a number of buildings in downtown St. Paul. Xcel Energy shut down electrical power about 10:30 a.m. in an area roughly bordered by Minnesota and West Seventh streets, Kellogg Boulevard and Interstate 94.

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