EAST ORANGE - An underground fire forced nearly 100 people to evacuate their homes Wednesday morning in East Orange.

Officials say the fire started on South Burnett Street between Central and Elmwood avenues.

Witnesses tell News 12 New Jersey that they could see smoke and flames coming from the manholes in the street.

Forty multifamily homes and an apartment building were evacuated as a precaution. The streets surrounding the fire were also closed for a time.

The cause of the fire was not immediately released by authorities.