NORWICH – NYSEG and local fire department officials were on the scene of downed electrical wires and a natural gas fire for approximately 21 hours before the hazards were cleared and traffic was allowed back into the area.
According to Chenango County Fire Bureau Coordinator Matthew Beckwith, the Norwich Fire Department was called to the scene of downed wires at about 9 p.m. on Sunday night on Route 12 in the Town of Norwich, and after arriving on scene they spotted a natural gas line that had been ignited by the downed wires.
Beckwith said within minutes, NYSEG was on scene, the road was shut down, and a plan was being formulated to keep residents safe and address the situation. He said by 6 p.m. on Monday night, the area was made safe enough to allow people to drive back through it, though more work still needs to be done.
“This was a dangerous situation, and that’s why we kept the Norwich Fire Department nearby,” said Beckwith. “Because the gas line was venting, the risk of an explosion occurring was minimal, but if things went south there was still a chance of people getting hurt.”