Natural Gas Fires

  • Let it burn. Contact the local gas utility and wait for them to arrive. Meanwhile, evacuate the area and protect exposures.
  • For structure fires, shut off the gas supply ONLY if you can safely access the meter. Once gas is off, remain alert for gas migration and possible re-ignition.
  • Do not extinguish burning natural gas fires. Protect the public from exposures and coordinate isolation operations with pipeline personnel.


SCENARIO: Gas Migrates, Explodes, Kills Four

Emergency personnel responded to the scene of a natural gas pipeline rupture caused by construction workers. The responders did not check nearby buildings to determine if gas was accumulating or to help assess the need for a possible evacuation, even though the high-pressure pipeline was continuing to leak. About 39 minutes after the pipeline rupture, an explosion occurred. It destroyed six buildings, killed four people, and injured eleven, including two firefighters and one police officer.