DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Fire-Rescue has responded to a two-alarm fire after a work crew struck a gas line in the 2100 block of Main Street at Pearl in downtown Dallas.
The fire started around 2:45 p.m. about 15 to 20 minutes after the gas line was struck. Newsradio 1080 KRLD’s Austin York obtained a raw video (see above) of the fire igniting.
Firefighters allowed the fire to burn while protecting the adjacent building by putting lots of water on it from multiple ladder trucks and keeping it cool.
Dallas Fire-Rescue said when firefighters arrived at the scene, fire was shooting from a gas line in the ground, that had been accidentally struck by a construction company doing work to expand Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
Several people, including those inside of the building right next to it, said they felt the impact.
Keana Erving works in the building that caught on fire and was evacuated just in time.
“As we were proceeding to get out of the building and got three seconds out, we heard a loud pop and we looked back and saw flames,” said Erving. “What was going through my mind was the building is going to blow.”
She had not time to grab anything or move her car parked feet away from the blaze.
“It’s been horrible. It’s devastating now that I see my car,” said Erving.
The back end of her beloved Cadillac is now melted.
Two people had to be evaluated by medics, but neither had to go to the hospital.
At least one unoccupied vehicle burned.
The gas was shut off shortly after 4:00 p.m. and a short time later, firefighters extinguished the remaining fire.
Atmos Energy released this statement:
While the details of what caused the fire are still unknown, we can confirm that a construction crew unrelated to Atmos Energy hit a 6-inch natural gas line while working in the area. A piece of their construction equipment caught fire.
We ask the public to please maintain a safe distance away from the worksite and leave the area immediately if you smell natural gas.
Witnesses said could be seen above tree line from the Dallas Arts District.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson Jason Evans said it’s lucky no one was in the immediate area when the fire started.
Some people reported hearing an explosion.
Dallas Police tweeted about road closures in the area. Cesar Chavez north and southbound between Pacific and Young, Commerce at Pearl, both directions on Main Street were shut down at Harwood. Elm and I-45 and all ramps were also closed as crews battled the fire.
Some viewers shared video with CBSDFW from their cars near the fire scene.