ORION TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (11/21/2017) - Consumers Energy has given the all clear in Oakland County after a large natural gas fire overnight.
Schools and roads opened this morning as scheduled following the massive fire in Orion Township near Great Lakes Crossing.
Consumers Energy, which supplies natural gas to much of Southeast Michigan, said it noticed a drop in the gas pressure just before 10 p.m. Monday. A 22-inch diameter steel gas transmission line reportedly ruptured, causing the explosion and fire.
The fire burned itself out after the flow of gas was shut off and no one was hurt.
Consumers crews and area fire departments remained on the scene well into Tuesday morning blocking traffic and extinguishing the last few brush fires caused by the incident.
Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morganstern said the blaze was very rare and the cause remained under investigation on Tuesday. A press release from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office says no evidence of anything suspicious or an intentional act was located.
A helicopter from the sheriff's office was scheduled to inspect the scene from overhead on Tuesday as part of the investigation.
The explosion and fire temporarily knocked out 911 and non-emergency phone lines to the Oakland County Central Dispatch center. Those were all working normally again early Tuesday.
The explosion and blast area measures about 30 to 40 yards around the crater. The blast exposed about 30 feet of the 22-inch natural gas line, creating a crater 18 feet deep.