BY MICHAEL J. RUDOLF
A fire at a gas well on the Procter & Gamble plant site brought firefighters and other emergency crews to the scene Monday evening.
Ultimately, the local responders weren’t needed, as workers from Citrus Energy were able to get the well shut down.
Crews were first called out around 5:15 p.m. for a report of an “out-of-control gas well fire.”
The fire was at a well about a mile east of the P&G plant, off Carney Cemetery road. It is one of five wells on the P&G property
According to Gene Dziak, director of the Wyoming County Emergency Management Agency, Citrus officials made the call for emergency help because gas leaking from somewhere on the well site was burning.
The role of the local crews was to stand by and secure the perimeter of the scene. They were set up at a command post near the eastern entrance to the plant.
Meanwhile, Citrus crews entered the scene and shut the well down.
Dziak said the fire continued to burn for a short time after that because of residual gas in the lines between the valves and the point where the gas was escaping.
Emergency crews were released from the scene about 7 p.m.
At no time was anyone in the area in any danger, Dziak said. He said there was no explosion or release of gas.
“When a gas well burns, that’s a good thing,” Dziak said. He explained that means all of the leaking gas was being consumed by the fire, and not getting into the atmosphere.
Because gas drilling is relatively new to Wyoming County, Dziak said emergency crews are still developing their protocols. That’s why the response was probably more than necessary.
“We didn’t initially know what we were getting into,” he said.
Citrus officials will be coming to the scene on Tuesday to investigate and determine what caused the fire, Dziak said.