A gas line fire in the Springfield area of Fairfax County, Virginia, Wednesday afternoon sent flames shooting 50 to 70 feet into the air and burned for hours before crews got the gas turned off and the fire put out.
The fire sent three gas company workers to the hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department provided more details about the fire in a news release Thursday.
The gas company crew was working in the roadway in the 8500 block of Hooes Road when the six-inch gas line was struck during a digging operation shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the fire department said.
Fire investigators have determined the fire was accidental, but they aren’t sure what caused the gas to ignite.
“The gas reached an ignition source of undetermined origin and erupted into a ball of flame,” the news release stated.
Two cars caught on fire from the gas-fed blaze. Crews also checked the inside of eight nearby homes and evacuated four of them for 24 hours.
Roadblocks were set up to redirect traffic around the fire, and firefighters trained hoses on the blaze to keep it in check while Washington Gas worked for hours to shut the gas mains down. All told, it took several hours to get the gas line shut down and the fire put out, according to the fire department.
In addition to the three gas company crew members, another worker was evaluated at the scene but declined treatment and a firefighter sustained a minor injury and was treated at the scene.
Damages are estimated at $250,000 due to lost equipment, according to the fire department.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released a video of the fire on YouTube.