Workers severed a gas line in a DeKalb neighborhood Thursday morning, triggering an explosion and fire which left no injuries…but caused about $150,000 in damage.
Firefighters were called to 457 Red Wing Lane at about 10 o’clock; a fence was being built around a lift station in front of two homes, when an auger apparently hit a large gas line.
The fire was soon contained, but fire personnel had to let it keep burning to prevent the buildup of fumes; Fire Chief Eric Hicks says it took time for them to devise a plan of attack with Nicor, on how and where to shut off the gas line.
Most of the damage was confined to the lift station, although a nearby house did have some heat damage to its siding. Nearby homeowners were asked to stay inside, or move down the street; the city used its Code Red alert service to pass along emergency information to the other homes in the neighborhood.
The lift station is in an unusual location, on the property line in front of two homes – and in plain view of the street. For months, residents had asked the city to put up a fence and make the station less obtrusive; workers had just begun installing that fence when the fire broke out.