Thursday, June 07, 2001

Gas line set ablaze

Lightning sparked fire in Harrison

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HARRISON — Lightning struck a Cinergy utility pole Wednesday morning, causing a transformer to explode at Harrison Avenue and Hill Street and sparking a natural gas fire that damaged a nearby building.

[photo] Harrison Fire Capt. Mike Haberthier was on the scene of a natural gas fire at Hill Street and Harrison Avenue Wednesday.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        After the strike, one of the power lines fell on the sidewalk and onto the cover of a gas shutoff valve, Cinergy spokesman Dave Woodburn said. “That's 19,900 volts. That caused some of the copper pipe to melt and a gas leak ensued, and it was ignited.”

        An employee preparing to open Skidmore TV & Appliances in a two-story brick building at 419 Harrison Ave. reported the incident to firefighters about 8:30 a.m.

        “He just heard a big explosion, then he heard another big explosion,” owner John Skidmore said. “Then he actually saw the fire shooting through the building, and came back out.”

        Firefighters quickly extinguished a small fire in the basement of the building, which experienced fire, smoke and heat damage. An estimate of the damage was not available.

        Fire Chief Alan Kinnett said the situation could have turned out worse.

        “We had a gas fire that was speeding into the air but also extending through the accessway for the valve into the building,” the chief said. “The big problem we had was the potential for explosion.”

        Fire units from Bright, Ind., and Whitewater Township, assisted.

Ashcroft asserts stand against bias
Racial profiling ban introduced in Senate
Heavy rain clogs roads; flooding is widespread
More add summer to school seasons
Taft vetoes lawmaker immunity
Going to NASCAR race? You won't get there fast
Officials search for answers to highway fatalities
PULFER: The Bush girls
Swimmers mostly stay indoors
Italianfest moves to river
Oh boy, does Hamilton County love it when 'NSync comes to town
Retired city worker accuses Tillery in Genesis case
Street violence raises tensions
Uniforms considered for middle school
Meeting breaks precedent
'Virtual' site considered
State OK's student standards with 'more meat'
State seeks fast track for testing
Out-of-wedlock births cited
Center for troubled boys to close after 30 years
2 charged in cocaine sales
Commissioners award bids for ballpark work
County approves deal over Bengals seats
Court puts school-funding plan on fast track
Edited movie yanked at Esquire
Ex-teacher in court on charge of sexual battery
- Gas line set ablaze
Gas tax in Ky. may rise by fall
N. Ky. to help save unwanted infants
Nye joins race for Hamilton mayor
Officials leave office
Witness: Lies would kill U.S. visa for Demjanjuk
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report