Gas well fire at Procter & Gamble extinguished, no injuries reported
WASHINGTON TWP. - A fire at a natural gas well on the Procter & Gamble plant site near Mehoopany brought several firefighters and other emergency personnel to the scene Monday evening.
Ultimately, the local responders weren't needed, as workers from Citrus Energy Corp. were able to shut the well down.
Crews were first called out around 5:15 p.m. for a report of an "out-of-control gas well fire." The fire was at a well about a mile east of the P&G plant, off Carney Cemetery road. It is one of five wells on the P&G property.
Citrus officials called for emergency help because gas leaking from somewhere on the well site was burning, said Gene Dziak, director of the Wyoming County Emergency Management Agency. The role of the local crews was to stand by and secure the perimeter of the scene, he said. They were set up at a command post near the eastern entrance to the plant.
Attempts to reach a Citrus Energy spokesman were unsuccessful.
Dziak said the fire continued to burn for a short time after the well was shut down because of residual gas in the lines between the valves and the point where the gas was escaping.
Emergency crews were released from the scene about 7 p.m.
There were no injuries, and no explosion, Dziak said. The fire indicated the leaking gas was consumed, and not released into the atmosphere, he said.
Because gas drilling is relatively new to Wyoming County, Dziak said emergency crews are still developing their protocols. The massive response was probably more than necessary, he said.
"We didn't initially know what we were getting into," Dziak said.
Citrus officials planned to investigate the cause of the fire today, he said.
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