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Mitchell Road reopens, gas leak contained
LUMBERTON - by Lauren Huet
Mitchell Road reopened at about 1 p.m. Saturday. The Lumberton Fire Department was dispatched to Mitchell Road at approximately 12:30 p.m. Chief Robert Simonson says the fire marshal was first on the scene, and discovered that a man cutting grass had sheared off a gas meter and opened up a three quarter inch pipe.
"It was blowing raw gas into the area at that time," said Chief Simonson. "We did some monitoring and found that explosive limits were well below acceptable limits."
It was a residential line containing natural gas.
"We went ahead and shut the railroad down just as a precaution, because we don't want any trains coming through because we were having to cross back and forth," said Chief Simonson.
The Fire Department reopened the railroad as soon as Chief Simonson and two other firefighters plugged the pipe.
"At the present time it's controlled and contained," said Chief Simonson. "We're just waiting for CenterPoint to come over here and officially cap the pipe off so there will be no more issues with it."
Chief Simonson says this is a pretty common event.
"That's why we carry the plugs. We train to do this, so it's really a pretty quick easy remedy," said Chief Simonson. "This keeps us from having to evacuate and inconvenience, because the problem is if we don't get it contained and the explosive limits go up, after we evacuate we have to shut off everybody's air conditioning and all their power. So we don't get any sparks and cause it to ignite the gas back to it."