Gas leak sparks fire, evacuations in downtown Fort Worth

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A fiery gas line break in downtown Fort Worth forced hundreds of people to evacuate, caused power outages and roadblocks.

First responders let the fire burn for some time in the area of Pecan and Belknap streets.

Police said a construction crew cut the 12-inch line around 11 a.m. Friday. The gas ignited and started spewing out of a conduit on a utility pole for the cable company. The pressure from that ruptured gas main was so great rain water could be seen shooting up from cracks in the street.

With so much gas underground fire officials evacuated an eight block area around the rupture, even shutting down power to virtually all of the north end of downtown Fort Worth for a brief time.

Hundreds of people, including children from the nearby Montessori school were also evacuated.

Workers and residents and surrounding buildings and businesses were told to just leave their cars and walk away fearing that just starting an engine could start another fire or sparking an explosion.

After several hours of being on fire, the utility pole burned and a half by Friday afternoon. But the flames were still shooting out of the conduit as of 5 p.m. The fire department remained on scene monitoring air-quality around the eight evacuated blocks as a precaution.

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