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tom aurnhammer's

Fire Photography

Bloomfield, NM - 1108 West Broadway

August 31st, 2011 at 1545 hours

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On August 31st, 2001 at approximately 1545 hours, Bloomfield Firefighters were dispatched to 1108 West Broadway (US 64), in front of the Post Office, for a report of a natural gas explosion. Units arrived at the intersection of US 64 and Church Street finding a gas fed fire involving a track-hoe that struck a gas line while digging. First arriving apparatus immediately requested additional tankers from the Bloomfield Fire Department (BFD) and the San Juan County Fire Department (SJCFD).

A half-mile radius around US 64 and Church Street was evacuated as a precaution after the rupture occurred. While the track-hoe was a total loss, the operator escaped without injury. US 64 was closed to traffic for approximately 4 hours while the New Mexico Gas Company worked to shut the 4” gas line in. Along with BFD and SJCFD units, Gas and Electric Company personnel, a handful of local Law Enforcement Agencies, and the Red Cross operated at the scene.

Once the gas line was secured, fire personnel monitored the area, and allowed the fire in the track-hoe to burn itself out. The evacuated residents were sheltered at the Bloomfield High School. Residents were allowed to return home around 2030 hours.