Officials: Storm gusts knock down power lines, sparking gas fire in Union Township

Posted: Updated:
UNION TOWNSHIP -

Officials say strong winds knocked down power lines early Sunday morning, sparking a gas fire in Union Township.

Fire officials say the fire started between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. at Union Avenue and Oakland Avenue. They say the downed wires burned and cut through asphalt, rupturing a gas line.

The fire chief tells News 12 that in these types of situations, it's safer to let the gas burn itself out instead of firefighters extinguishing it right away.

Fire officials say the chain reaction that caused this is unusual but not unheard of. They say when wires come down, they're burning so hot that it's like an acetylene torch cutting directly into the ground.

Crews worked for six hours to try to discover the source of the problem as firefighters stood by. The fire, which was located partially on the street and on a lawn, caused a house to be briefly evacuated.

The fire burned off shortly after 9 a.m., and firefighters cooled down the main so that the gas company could work on replacing it.

A three-block area was affected by this incident and about 30 people briefly lost power.

 

 

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