According to Noble County EMA Director Chasity Schmelzenbach, Smithberger Road is closed due to road damage and the need to secure the area for safety and continued assessment. Please avoid the area if possible.
Crews were able to clear the scene at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Schmelzenbach also said one injured resident was transported from the scene and treated for mnor burns.
Authorities said two of the homes that caught fire are almost completely destroyed. Noble County EMA has made contact with the families to help with a place to stay and the American Red Cross is on standby as needed.
According to a press release from Noble County EMA, regulators and state emergency response teams will be at the site on Tuesday to work to identify a cause, evaluate environmental impacts and monitor repairs. Those agencies include the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.
The press release also said the gas line is currently owned by Enbridge.
Enbridge released a statement saying:
Enbridge personnel are responding to an incident in Noble County, Ohio, on its Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline. The incident occurred at approximately 10:40 a.m. ET. Our first concern is for the safety of the community and our employees. We have activated our emergency response plan and this evening we are cooperating with authorities in our response. There was a fire, which has been contained, and residents within the proximity of the incident have been evacuated. Initial reports are that two individuals were injured and two structures damaged. Field operations immediately started to shut in and isolate that section of pipeline. This section of pipe is 30 inches in diameter and was built in 1952-1953. An in-line inspection of the line was performed in 2012, and no remediation was needed.