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Firefighters control natural gas leak
Lt. Mike Alamo helps ready firefighters Corey Bates and Mike Scoggins get in their bunker gear to monitor a gas leak Wednesday afternoon. - photo by Alena Parker / Coastal Courier
County workers snagged a gas pipe Wednesday afternoon while clearing the area where the new justice center will be built, releasing natural gas and requiring assistance from the Hinesville Fire Department.
HFD Lt. Mike Alamo explained how the leak happened.
"They were cleaning up some stuff and I guess there was a pipe sticking out the ground," Alamo said. "They went to pull it...and broke the line and that's what started the leak."
He speculated the pipe was not attached in the ground very well.
Firefighters Corey Bates and Mike Scoggins wore bunker gear as a safety measure while putting a temporary clamp on the leaky pipe.
"Usually with free-flowing gas like that, it's just normal precaution for fire, explosion, things like that," Alamo said.
The fire department can usually independently handle low-pressure leaks, but since the leak was from a high-pressure line, they had to report to the gas company.
Firefighters remained on scene until a responding unit from Atlanta Gas Light took over.
"As long as it's flowing that volume of gas, we're staying here to make sure nothing happens," Alamo said.
While the leak was being taken care of, Alamo said the public was in no danger. But he advised remaining alert to gas leaks because it has the potential to become a bigger problem.
"If they smell gas, obviously the biggest thing is no open flames, sparks, things of that nature. Call 911 and they'll send someone out to take a look at it," he said.
According to the Atlanta Gas Light website, the greatest danger of an outside leak is fire.  
Alamo said the fire department gets reports of gas leaks about once a month.
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