PA Gas Well Fire Forces Evac

Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 04:12 PM gHale

The fire at the Menhorn Well gas well on East Mud Pike, PA, Thursday morning is now out, but it did force an evacuation of the area. 

Berlin Volunteer Fire Department and ambulance were called about 9 a.m. Thursday to a gas well fire near the Menhorn farm. A gas company representative also was on the scene.

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East Mud Pike was closed from Berlin Plank Road to Beachdale Road until about 10:20 a.m.

The well is owned by Xtreme Energy Company. The area of the well was evacuated, but all emergency crews have since returned from the scene.

There were no injuries. Flames and odors of gas were first reported to authorities shortly before 9 a.m., according to a Somerset County 911 incident report.

Emergency dispatchers said several residences ended up evacuated as a precaution.

Personnel from Xtreme Energy, which owns the well, arrived and put out the fire, according to the report.

Investigators from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection inspected the scene at the Menhorn #2 well, and determined the wellhead itself – where gas comes out of the ground – never caught fire.

“DEP concluded that the equipment associated with the well failed and caught fire, but the wellhead was not on fire,” said Lauren Fraley, a DEP spokeswoman. Gas flowing out of the well was turned off. The cause of the fire is unknown, Fraley said. The DEP requested Xtreme Energy send it an explanation for the cause of the fire.

The well was a Marcellus shale gas well, first drilled in 2009, Fraley said.

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