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Gas Leak Extended Operation
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

              On the Dec. 30th at 14:34 hrs station 84 along with a single engine from Sta. 70 were dispatched to a gas leak in Bay Forest Club community. Engine one went responding with 84-40 and a crew of 4 and 84-8 with 84-16 crew of one. We were advised that a construction crew was digging and hit a gas main that was actively leaking. We were advised the line was coming from a propane farm with 30,000 gal. of propane. Engine/Rescue 84-1 arrived on scene and 84-40 established the command with an active leak and visible vapor cloud. 84-8 arrived with 84-16 and a command post was set up 500' from the leak site. 84-16 was given operations. There were hydrants at the entrance to the development and approximately 500 feet from the leak site. 84-1 laid app. 150' of 5" inch supply line from the closest hydrant. A 350' 1 3/4 " long line was placed in service by 2 FF in full PPE to include SCBA to dissipate the vapor cloud.

                A representative from Natelli Communities was on site and advised he had contacted the gas company and they were responding. Initially the representative (Tom Natelli) thought it was a 2 ½ inch line and there was a shut off nearby. He also stated that Bunting and Murry was the contractor digging with an excavator to install a drainage box. He said that utilities were marked prior to digging. When Sharp Gas arrived they told us it was a 6" inch line and there was no shut off valves.

                Quint 70-4 arrived and secured the hydrant for Engine 84-1. 70-40 was given Incident Safety Officer and went to the site to monitor gas readings and checked the houses west of the scene for occupants. There was 1 house with 2 people inside that were going to shelter in place during the operations.

Engine/ Tanker 84-4 laid approximately 650' feet of 5" inch supply line from the hydrant at the entrance on Whites Neck Road and Engine 84-6 secured the water supply for engine 84-4 which was being used a backup water source. A second 300' 1 ¾" line was placed in service as well as portable water monitor so the crew could back away from the leak site.

Sharp gas did not have proper equipment to stop the leak and called for Chesapeake gas to respond with a clamp to secure the leak. The gas Company said there was no shut off valves to that particular line. There were 10 gas company personnel operating to secure the leak along with 3 fire fighters and 1 safety Officer. There was 2 attempts to gain access to the pipe so clamping operations could begin and the hole caved in both times delaying clamping operations. There was preparations being made to try and clamp the line in a second location but would require a drainage ditch to be pumped out. After the clamp was successfully put in place the leak was slowed down but not stopped. A second clamp was called for with an ETA of approximately 1 hour.  We were told that the tank Farm could not be shut down due to feeding 500 homes in the other side of the community.

While waiting for the second clamp dewatering of the ditch continued and water flow on the vapor cloud continued. Station 76 was moved to the scene with their gas meter and man power and Station88 was alerted to fill the cover-up assignment.

Station 76 was operating on Fire Ops 2 with the dewatering operations.

The incident safety officer continued to monitor the area with the gas meter and was getting readings of 20+ LEL down wind and no readings upwind.

The second clamp arrived on scene and the gas company was able to secure the leak. All operations were shut down at this point and clean-up was initiated.

We transferred all standby crews to the scene to help put hose back on the trucks.

The scene was turned over to Sharp Gas and Chesapeake Utilities.

Command was terminated and all units went available.

Units responding were 84-8 (Command), 84-1, 84-4, quint 70-4, 84-6, a-84, TC-70, Station 73 for cover-up (T-73), Station 90 for cover-up (T 90-4), B-84, A-70, Station 76 (R-76), Rehab 90, Station 88 (88-1) for cover-up,

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