Oakland, CA – Natural gas from an underground pipeline owned byPacific Gas & Electric Co. ignited on a residential street in Oakland, Calif. on Tuesday, but no injuries were reported, according to the utility and fire department.
The fire broke out around 8:24 a.m. local time, an Oakland Fire Department spokeswoman said. PG&E said the fire was fueled by natural gas leaking from a pipeline. The utility is investigating what caused that gas leak.
Crews with PG&E dug a trench and shut off the flow of gas on the 4-inch underground pipeline, the utility said. The blaze was extinguished before noon.
Twenty-six firefighters were called to the scene, the fire department said. The occupants of six nearby homes were evacuated. It is still unknown whether any property was damaged.
PG&E has been under intense scrutiny over its role in the fatal 2010 explosion of a natural gas pipeline in San Bruno, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco. Federal and state regulators have blamed the utility for that incident, saying the company lost important pipeline records and neglected details in the way it managed its sprawling gas-transportation system.
The California Public Utilities Commission has accused the utility of violating state and federal safety rules in the San Bruno case and pledged to order a heavy fine. That decision is still pending.