Gas Pipe Explodes, Ignites Fire in Orion Township, Michigan

November 21, 2017 Updated: November 21, 2017    

A fire that ignited in Orion Township, Michigan on Monday, Nov. 20. could be seen and heard from miles away and left a crater in its wake, according to reports.

An explosion followed by a blaze was reported near the Auburn Hills and Orion Township border on Monday night just before 10 p.m.

Eyewitnesses told ABC-affiliate WXYZ that the explosion sounded like a jet engine.

Consumers Energy noticed a drop in pressure on its gas system around the time the fire ignited, and officials have said they believe it was a 22-inch diameter steel gas transmission line that ruptured, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A Consumers Energy spokesperson told WXYZ that the cause of the explosion and fire is under investigation, and added that what happened is very rare.

The fire burned itself out after responders cut off the flow of gas on either end of a 7-mile section of the line.

The fire broke out on vacant land.

Captain Mel Maier of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office told The Detroit Free Press in an email that they inspected the site of the ruptured gas line and “found nothing suspicious or unusual relating to an intentional act.”

The fire from the transmission line is not expected to affect local residents because it is not a distribution line, Debra Dodd, a spokesperson for Consumers Energy told The Detriot News. She explained that transmission lines lower the pressure of the gas before it is delivered to people’s homes.

Auburn Hills Police Department posted footage of the blaze on its Facebook page.

“The explosion and blast area encompasses roughly 30 to 40 yards around the crater. The blast exposed about 30 feet of the 22-inch natural gas line, creating a crater 18 feet deep,” read a statement from Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, The Detriot News reported.

An eyewitness named Jimmy told Fox 2 that he heard what sounded like an explosion before the fire.

“It was actually pretty loud and shook all the windows in the house,” he told the news station.

“My son and I went outside to see where it came from and flames went up about 200 feet in the sky.”

The police called for mandatory evacuations in the area at the time of the fire.

Please consider supporting our journalism by sharing this article on your social networks.

RECOMMENDED