Security camera captures exact moment of gas fire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Security camera captures exact moment of gas fire

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Talk about being at the right place at the right time.

A perfectly placed private security camera caught the exact moment when a fire broke out at a broken gas line in downtown Columbia Wednesday afternoon.

The gas line was hit around 4 p.m. while a private contractor was digging to install underground communications lines near Richland and Sumter streets.

SCE&G employees responded to the scene, and worked to try and fix the issue.

The footage shows a SCE&G worker using a small backhoe to dig a hole near the leak. As soon as the backhoe pulls back a small mound of dirt, you can see the line ignite with fury. A split second later, the worker jumps away from the backhoe and sprints several feet away.

The video then shows the worker watching the scene as a nearby fire truck works to extinguish the flames.

Several other workers were close to the fire plume, according to fire officials.

"I think they're very lucky they didn't suffer any injuries," said Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. "Any time you're standing that close to a gas leak, and it ignites, you've got gas all around you."

Firefighters eventually put out the fire shortly after turning off the gas line. SCE&G crews also worked overnight to restore service to customers affected by the leak.

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