• Gas pipeline fire in Washington Co. prompts urgent evacuations


    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. - A gas pipeline fire in Houston prompted evacuations late Wednesday evening, according fire officials in Mount Pleasant.

    Around 10 p.m., Chartiers Township and Mount Pleasant firefighters and police rushed to the scene of the fire on Western Avenue and began evacuating residents to nearby fire halls.

    Many neighbors told Channel 11 that they were upset about the whole incident.

    Tracey Sampson told Channel 11 that she rushed outside with her cellphone in-hand to capture the well fire burning right next door. 

    “Last night, I thought we were done. I really did. I thought the whole place was going to blow,” she said.

    Sampson said this type of fire has been her biggest fear since Williams Energy Company built a pipeline station directly next to her home.

    “It’s right there in my yard, practically,” she said.

    A spokesperson for Williams Energy Company told Channel 11 that the pipeline originates in Marshall County, West Virginia, and transports ethane to the Houston, Pennsylvania, area in Washington County.

    Williams' Pipeline Control received the appropriate alarms as part of its 24-hour monitoring and responded by closing the main-line valve in order to stop the flow of product to the facility.

    The spokesperson also told Channel 11 that there were no injuries, but it was still too close for comfort for many living near the pipeline.

    “Last night was the first time I ever really got scared about it,” said Sampson. 

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