“The 12” pipe, flowing an estimated 500psi, ruptured at approximately 4:00 p.m today shooting flames over 50’ into the air” said Kelley Klope, Public Information Officer for the Asheville Fire Department, in a statement Friday night.
Candler, NC -
PSNC Energy says they have restored natural gas service to 650 of 700 customers who temporarily lost it due to a gas line rupture Friday afternoon.
The company says crews continue to go door-to-door turning meters on and relighting pilot lights for customers in the Biltmore Lake area.
They say they will spend the rest of Sunday visiting residences where no one was at home on Saturday and are working to contact homeowners who reside out of state during the winter months.
PSNC Energy says they still have not determined what caused the pipelink leak and fire.
Also, the Asheville Police says Sand Hill Road opened back up Sunday night. It had been closed since the gas line rupture Friday.
PSNC Energy reports crews have completed the repair work to the damaged 12-inch pipeline on the western side of Buncombe County. Company crews will work for the remainder of the night and continue work at 8 am Sunday to return the flow of natural gas to its distribution system that serves the Enka Candler area.
Saturday, PSNC Energy said service crews will go door-to-door to turn meters on and relight pilot lights for the 700 residential customers who temporarily lost natural gas service due to the repair work. A spokesperson says gas service has been restored to 600 of those customers.
PSNC Energy has not determined what caused the pipeline damage but will continue to investigate the incident.
Residents are now being permitted to return home in Enka Village after being evacuated following a ruptured gas line earlier. However, according to Angie Townsend, a representative with PSNC Energy, "approximately 700 residents in the Asheville area are temporarily without natural gas" tonight.
"In an effort to avoid further loss of residential gas service, PSNC Energy continues to urge customers in western Buncombe, Madison, Swain, Jackson and Haywood counties to conserve gas use overnight" Townsend stated. According to the energy company "once the repair work is completed, PSNC Energy will begin working to restore natural gas service to the affected customers".
According to the Asheville Fire Department, more than 40 firefighters in addition to the Enka Fire Department, assisted in containing the flames and securing the perimeter late Friday afternoon.
“The 12” pipe, flowing an estimated 500psi, ruptured at approximately 4:00 p.m. today shooting flames over 50’ into the air” said Kelley Klope, Public Information Officer for the Asheville Fire Department, in a statement Friday night.
Although Sandhill Road, where the fire occurred, is still closed at this time, several neighboring roads around Jacob Holm Industries in Candler, N.C. are back open.
Roads were closed as precaution for more than four hours while crews worked to dismantle the blaze.
Two businesses as well as a few homes near the flames did suffer exterior heat damage, Klope included.
However, the cause of the gas line rupture is still being investigated.
There is no word when the gas line will be in operation or Sandhill Road will be back open completely.
No injuries are being reported at this time.
You can expect 7 On Your Side to keep you updated with the very latest as more information becomes available.
Friday, January 10, 2013 4:36 p.m..
The Buncombe Co. Fire department says multiple agencies responded to a gas leak fire near Sand Hill Road in Candler.
The fire crews had to wait for the gas line to be shutdown and the fire to burn out.
They say this has to be done, because you can't fight gas fires with water.
Police were going door-to-door to houses within a few hundred feet and evacuating them to Enka Baptist Church.