Broken gas meter impacts response to Livermore house fire

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- SKY7 captured an orange glow that resembled a blowtorch coming from the side of a home on Buckskin Road in Livermore Monday morning.

"PG&E needs to dig up the line to turn off the gas," Livermore Fire Battalion Chief Kurtis Dickey said.

Fire officials tell ABC7 News around 5:20 a.m. someone sleeping in the garage started smelling smoke. The individual then spotted a fire outside the home. When crews arrived, they found a gas valve leaking and had no way to access the line underground.

"It sounds dangerous, but the gas is burning which controls the gas vapors," Dickey said. "So, the vapors aren't extending to other structures. No one else is threatened because we're allowing the vapors to continue to burn."

Sandy Craig and her husband own the home next door to the fire.

"Right next door," Craig said. "The fence in between us is gone. The trees are gone. Part of our garage is torched."

"Everything can be replaced except for people," Craig said. "My son got out."

The couple is frustrated over PG&E's response to the fire. It took about an hour and a half for the gas to be turned off.

"When there are big fires they're always waiting for PG&E," Craig said. "I mean there are paramedics, why don't they have anyone trained to turn the gas off? You know it's a huge risk."

Dickey said firefighters are cross trained, but in this case, PG&E needed to dig underground to clamp a gas pipe in order to turn it off.

Officials have not released the official cause of the fire, but they do not believe it was caused by gas.
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