A gas line eruption is believed to have caused an explosion west of Edmonton Thursday morning.
Emergency crews were called to the fire at Range Road 275 near 44 Avenue in Stony Plain.
“Call came into us at about 8:15 a.m. for an explosion. While en route, our dispatch advised us that is was a gas line that was hit,” explained Deputy Chief Bert Lubbers with the Stony Plain Fire Department.
“We pulled on scene (and) there was a large fireball behind some houses. We pulled some line to try and protect the exposures and waited for ATCO gas to secure the line.”
One of those houses belongs to Sandy and Rhiney Getzinger. They were out taking their grandson to school when a piece of construction equipment ruptured a natural gas line.
“The neighbor said there was a big explosion while she was having coffee,” Sandy said.
“All of a sudden, she heard the swoosh and looked out and saw a big ball of flame.”
“It’s pretty scary when you see all the fire trucks and everything in the driveway and the hoses behind your house – we didn’t know if it was our house or what was going on.”
Lubbers said the heat from the engine likely sparked the fireball.
Watch below: There were some tense moments west of Edmonton Thursday morning when a construction ruptured a gas line, sending a fireball into the air. Fletcher Kent has more.
The explosion happened just 150 feet from the Getzingers’ home. The intense heat destroyed their fence and melted their siding, but crews worked hard to prevent further damage by dousing the garages and rooftops of nearby homes.
“The wind was in our favour, blowing the fires away from the houses,” Lubbers explained.
For their part, the Getzingers felt lucky it wasn’t worse.
“Glad it’s just the fence,” Sandy said. “We’re all OK, that’s the main thing.”
“I can’t imagine someone losing everything,” Rhiney said. “This is bad enough with the little damage it’s done.
“It’s pretty bad but it could’ve been a lot worse. They did a good job of saving our garage and house.”
The RCMP said no one was injured.
The neighbourhoods of Fairways, Greybriar and homes east of Westview Hospital would be without gas utilities for the remainder of Thursday and possibly into the night, police said.
– with files from Fletcher Kent