ORION TOWNSHIP (WWJ) — Orion Township fire crews have finally put out a massive fire after about two hours of burning near Brown and Joslyn Roads.
Consumers Energy says a gas transmission line ruptured, setting off an explosion and fire around 10 p.m. Monday. The blast exposed about 30 feet of the 22 inch natural gas line, creating a crater 18 feet deep, according to officials.
Flames could be seen hundreds of feet in the air. Witnesses calling into the WWJ Traffic Center said they could see the flames from as far as 25 miles away. Dana Bush of Orion Township said he could feel the heat off the fire from about half a mile away.
“There’s what looks like a major gas explosion,” Bush said. “It looks like it’s from the Consumers (Energy) regulator plant at Joslyn and Brown Road. I’m here behind the Sam’s Club and I’m a half a mile away from it, the flames are probably 150-200 feet in the air. I can feel the heat from here. You can hear the noise in the background, it sounds like a jet engine.”
Denise from Pontiac was driving southbound on I-75 near the fire, and like Bush she could feel the heat of the fire from miles away when she rolled her car window down.
“When we pulled over and put the windows down and it got so hot,” Denise said. “You felt the heat of the impact from that fire all the way to I-75 south drivers. It was breaking the coldness.”
A nearby Meijer and Costco reportedly evacuated their stores because of the fire. Auburn Hills Police tweeted about an evacuation for residents that live in the area North of Brown Road and South of Judah Road, East of Baldwin Road and West of Joslyn Road in Orion Township.
A number of police departments in Oakland County said their 911 phone lines went down during the fire. All service has since been fully restored.
No injuries were reported.
A cause of the rupture remains under investigation.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Detroit for the latest.