Duke Energy restoring gas service to hundreds after fire in Montgomery

Officials investigating after gas line hit sparks hours-long fire

MONTGOMERY, Ohio (FOX19) - Duke Energy continues to work on restoring gas to more than 500 people affected by Wednesday’s large fire on Montgomery Road.

The gas line was ruptured when a piece of equipment went into the ground and broke the 12″ high pressure main, according to a fire chief at the scene.

The fire was sparked by the natural ignition on the piece of equipment, the chief explained.

Flames from the fire could be seen from hundreds of yards away:

Gas line hit on Montgomery Rd. causes fire

Montgomery Fire Department Chief Paul Wright said the fire was so large and hot, “a block-and-a-half away people couldn’t even stand.”

“It looked like it had to be just furiously hot because them flames were just going and going and going and huge,” said Karen Heuer who works nearby.

Duke Energy was able to completely shut off the gas by 6 p.m., but officials said more than 500 people were left without services.

Officials say it took so long to isolate the gas line because of how many businesses surround the area where the fire happened. Now the focus is on repairing the line which is complicated by the amount of water used to extinguish the fire.

Sally Thelen with Duke Energy said they are working with local and state officials to determine exactly what happened.

Thelen said on Thursday field techs are going door-to-door to restore gas at nearby homes and businesses.

Three people were injured, but the chief said they refused care and are expected to be okay.

Witnesses and those living nearby said they heard a loud boom and then felt their buildings shake.

“We just heard this insane thundering where the construction on the bridge has been going on," explained Ines Palacio, who works near the construction site.

The fire chief at the scene and Thelen said they are working to determine the cost of damage.

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