Natural Gas Leak
Thursday, July 2, 2020
At 12:30pm on Thursday, July 2, 2020 the Ocean Pines Vol. Fire Department was alerted for a gas leak in the area of 1135 Ocean Pkwy. Assistant Chiefs Widgeon and Donofrio arrived first on scene with Chief Widgeon establishing command. Upon initial investigation, it was determined that a contractor doing work for Catered Living of Ocean Pines struck a gas line while digging. Engine 1102 deployed their front bumper line, and a water supply was established.
Initial attempts by Sandpiper Energy to stop the leak were unsuccessful resulting in the need to evacuate the two buildings closest to the leak. Quick action along with exceptional pre-planning allowed the staff of Catered Living to transfer all residents from the impacted buildings into the Woodlands where everyone could stay protected from the heat. A portable master stream was deployed and put into service to create hydraulic ventilation which redirected the leaking gas away from the buildings.
Due to the heat and direct sun, rehabilitation efforts were put into place by command; bringing cold water and other resources to the scene for fire department members as well as the crew from Sandpiper Energy. After further planning and investigating, the gas company was able to contain the leak and the scene was turned over to Sandpiper Energy to complete repairs of the broken line.
Always remember to call 811/Miss Utility before you dig and as we saw in this incident, emergencies can happen when we least expect it. Proper emergency planning is crucial to ensuring safety for all involved!