Hundreds Without Natural Gas Service After Ohio Gas Line Fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- About 1,300 homes were without natural gas service Tuesday after crews shut down a leaking gas line that caught fire, sending flames 70 feet in the air.

Columbia Gas had a crew working in the area when the gas line ignited about 1:30 p.m. Monday but it's still not known what caused the fire, spokesman Steve Jablonski said.

The Columbus fire department evacuated about 60 residents and closed roads in the area as firefighters tried to contain the blaze, spokeswoman Kelly McGuire said.

Jablonski said crews closed the last valve just after midnight and those evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.

The company called in crews from across the state to help go to each house to make sure all gas appliances are shut off. They must then return to each home to light the pilot lights once service is restored.

How soon service will be restored depends upon how much the fire damaged the gas line, Jablonski said.