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Much of the Back Bay went pitch dark around 7:30, about an hour into the fire, with no streetlights and no traffic lights. In the Prudential Center, people screamed when the power went out, plunging the mall into darkness for several seconds before emergency lighting came up. The only lights to be seen in Copley Square were from cell phones that people used to light their way. Some people settled into candlelit restaurants to wait it out.
“Check your Twitterfeed!” one young woman said into her phone. “You haven’t heard? A transformer blew. All the lights are out.”