Lightning Eyed as Possible Cause of Natural Gas Fire in Toms River
Investigations aren't complete, but New Jersey Natural Gas officials conjecture that lightning during sporadic rain squalls Sunday might have contributed to the flames that began spouting from their regulating station in downtown Toms River.
According to spokesman Michael Kinney in Wall Township, a piece of equipment called an actuator caught fire. The device, he said, monitors pressure in gas lines and is inactive unless pipes are being cleaned.
Kinney says that the fire was not near any active feeder lines, public safety was not compromised and consumers continued receiving normal service.
According to Kinney, police notified the company at 9:03 AM Sunday, and company workers were on site within seven minutes, securing the West Water Street facility before10 AM.
The flames were extinguished by manually closing a valve tied to the actuator's operation, Kinney said.