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Oologah Residents Wait For Gas Service After Lightning Strike, Explosion

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Those fires forced the evacuation a number of homes in an Oologah neighborhood. Those fires forced the evacuation a number of homes in an Oologah neighborhood.
Julie Turner was stuck in traffic in Tulsa, when her 19-year-old daughter called to tell her what happened. Julie Turner was stuck in traffic in Tulsa, when her 19-year-old daughter called to tell her what happened.
ONG says it will be the end of the week before gas service is restored to those homes. ONG says it will be the end of the week before gas service is restored to those homes.
OOLOGAH, Oklahoma -

Efforts are underway to restore gas service after a lightning strike set off a series of natural gas line fires Tuesday evening.

Those fires forced the evacuation a number of homes in an Oologah neighborhood. People are back in their houses now, but gas service will still be out for a while.

It all started when a lightning strike hit a transformer, which knocked down a power line, which then hit a gas meter. That energized the natural gas pipeline, which erupted in several spots all down the line.

Julie Turner was stuck in traffic in Tulsa, when her 19-year-old daughter called to tell her what happened.

7/16/2013 Related Story: Residents Return Home After Lightning Sets Fire To Gas Line In Oologah

"She said, 'Mom, something's blown up in the backyard and the backyard is on fire,'" Julie said.

Julie's daughter got her younger siblings out of the house and alerted a neighbor. Later, the whole neighborhood was evacuated for several hours.

"I was sick. I was just worried that we were going to have an explosion and everybody was going to lose everything," Julie said.

The flames in their backyard were way too close for comfort.

"I work in the natural gas industry, so I know that anytime natural gas is on fire, it's not very safe to be around," said Hank Turner.

Oklahoma Natural Gas workers went door-to-door with meters, measuring gas levels before everyone was allowed back into their houses.

The Turners say it's remarkable no one was hurt and no homes were lost because of the fluke fires.

"God is good and everybody was safe and everybody has a house to live in. It's like life is normal, it's just the natural gas company is doing a lot of work today," Hank said.

Those crews are working around the clock to restore gas service to 11 homes which still are without service. ONG contractors are replacing gas lines.

ONG says it will be the end of the week before gas service is restored to those homes.

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