EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSExplosion Reported In Big Chimney After Thunderstorm
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Heath Harrison
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Jul. 4, 2013 5:14 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 4, 2013 11:28 PM EDT
Big Chiminey , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Some people got more than fireworks this Fourth of July.
People living on Hazel Drive in Big Chimney said as Thursday's storm rolled through, they heard a big boom of thunder and, the next thing they knew, flames were coming from the ground.
"It thundered and then, all the sudden, the lightning struck,” witness Linda Green said. “It was an extremely loud boom. We should have known it was close, because it was just right here."
Pinch volunteer firefighters responded to the explosion a little after 5 p.m.
At the scene, it was easy to hear the roar of gas and flames coming from the eight-inch gas pipe.
Neighbors think lightning sparked the fire.
"It’s not all the time, but it's somewhat common to see a gas line on fire," Pinch Fire Chief David Waggoner said.
Mountaineer Gas workers quickly assessed the situation before turning off the gas.
Even though the gas fueled the fire for a while, firefighters said there was never any immediate danger.
"If there's a fire, watch it burn. You know what the gas is going to do,” Waggoner said.
“You know it's burning off all the product. If we put it out, there'd be gas all around you, looking for an ignition point to cause a larger problem."
A larger problem could be like the one in Sissonville last December, when a massive explosion of a natural gas pipeline left three homes in ruins. That incident has become a blueprint for firefighters to use in these types of situations.
"We all learned from it and have a heightened sense of awareness from it," Waggoner said.
No one was hurt in the explosion.
Firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire, and it was extinguished once the gas company shut off the gas.
An explosion was reported in Big Chimney following a thunderstorm Thursday evening.
Kanawha Metro 911 said lightning hit a gas line on Hazel Drive at about 5 p.m.
No injuries were reported.
Eyewitness News has a crew headed to the scene. Stay tuned for updates.
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