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A natural gas line ruptured outside of Fremont Friday morning sending a fireball into the sky. Billowing, black smoke could be seen for miles. No one was hurt.
Northern Natural Gas isolated the ruptured line in a field near county roads 20 and O, allowing the gas between the blocked valves to burn itself out.
Northern Natural’s Mike Loeffler said, “Once that is done, we will send out crews in for repair. We’ll conduct a thorough post-incident investigation.”
Loeffler said it could take a couple of weeks to determine what happened.
Precautionary evacuations forced some nearby residents from their homes but for those who remained, there was no disruption of service.
Lucy Odvody’s house rattled when the gas erupted.
“About 8:30 this morning I heard this roar and this real loud noise and the house just shook like crazy and I thought a helicopter crashed on the top of my house,” she said. “I got to looking out my windows and then I seen the flames shooting up and they were really high.”
The explosion and fire happened close to the Johnson farm and forced them to evacuate.
Marcia Johnson said, “There was a loud explosion. That was before 8:30 this morning. And I looked out the window and saw a big ball of fire that was shooting above the trees on our place. So we called 911, grabbed a coat. Keith forgot his shoes so he ran out with no shoes.”
Fire crews from Nickerson, Hooper, Winslow and Fremont answered the call.