Gas Line Causes Massive West Virginia Fire

Believed to be caused by a pipeline explosion, the West Virginia fire spread to nearby homes in the hour before it was contained.

An apparent gas line explosion Dec. 11 set an interstate and homes ablaze in Sissonville, W.Va. According to reports, at least five buildings caught fire.

While some near the scene were taken to local hospitals for smoke inhalation treatment, no fatalities were reported initially. The fire began around 12:40 p.m. and raged for about an hour. Shelters were established in a local church for residents, who were encouraged to evacuate, and occupants of schools and a nearby nursing home were confirmed safe.

The heat from the fire near Interstate 77 initially kept emergency responders back and unable to discover the location of the blast site. However, the natural gas pipeline believed to have fueled the fire was partially shut off, with responders working to turn off the line completely.

The blast reached dozens of feet in the air and motorists were encouraged to avoid the area. Crews are being called in to repave the scorched highway.

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