Claremore Daily Progress

July 16, 2013

Lightning strikes, gas meters ignite causing Oologah neighborhood evacuation

Salesha Wilken
Claremore Progress

OOLOGAH —

Northwest Fire District crews and Oklahoma Natural Gas employees worked throughout the evening Tuesday to secure the scene of a gas fire in Oologah.

A lightning strike, occurring at approximately 5:30 p.m. hit a live power line sparking the fire that evacuated approximately 25 percent of incorporated Oologah.

Lightning struck a pole arching onto gas meters then traveling underground through a metal gas line sparking a fire and blowing a hole in the line approximately three blocks away, according to Fire Chief David Puckett .

Firefighters allowed the gas to burn off before gas service was shut down, after ONG workers arrived around 6:30 p.m.

Oologah Police evacuated the area and Northwest Fire Department extinguished the fire by approximately 8 p.m., he added.

Door to door checks were done and homes were surveyed for other leaks and damage.

“I have never seen anything underground like this before,” Puckett said.

Firemen worked with Oklahoma Natural Gas to make sure the area was safe for residents, according to Puckett.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes about 10 p.m.

No structure damage or injuries were reported.

It could take up to three days to return gas service to the area, Puckett said.

ONG was contacted for more information on today’s repairs, however representatives are unavailable at this time for comment.