Missoula Fire Department
625 E. Pine St., Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 552-6210 voice, (406) 552-6184 fax
Informational Release - For Immediate Broadcast
To: All Media Outlets
From: Derek Mullins, Battalion Chief Missoula Fire Department
Re: Gas Line Rupture Response
Date: November 2nd, 2016
Location: Intersection of 34th St. and Bellecrest Dr. Time of call: 9:43 AM
Number of units: 2 Engines, Battalion Chief, EMS Coordinator, Training Officer Number of Firefighters: 6 Firefighters, 1 Chief Officer, 2 Staff Officers Fatalities/Injuries: None
Property Damage: To Be Determined
Property Saved: Adjacent residential structures
The Missoula Fire Department responded to a hit and blowing gas line in a south side residential neighborhood this morning. Fire units arrived on scene and found natural gas erupting from cracks in the asphalt near the intersection apparently caused by a construction crew doing a remote boring operation nearby. Other cooperating agencies that responded include Missoula Emergency Services ambulance, Northwestern Energy, and the Missoula Police Department.
Fire crews used gas monitors to establish a safe perimeter and evacuate the immediate area. Northwestern energy arrived and worked with fire personnel to determine that the gas was migrating underground following residential sewer and gas service lines. Foam from fire department hand lines was used to detect gas rising from the asphalt cracks. Continuous gas monitoring of adjacent residential basements was done throughout the incident. Fire crew used protective hand lines to provide protection for the Northwestern energy workers as they welded a bypass line around the leak to prevent disruption of gas service to the affected neighborhood. Crews worked for about three hours to mitigate the leak, and off duty firefighters were called in to cover unmanned stations. Any questions regarding this incident should be directed to the Missoula Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 552-6210 or Assistant Chief Jeff Brandt at 544-2800.
The Missoula City Fire Department along with our many cooperating agencies respond to numerous gas leaks throughout the year. We would like to remind everyone to call 811 before you dig. 811 is the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to help protect do-it-yourselfers, landscapers and contractors from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects……large and small.