FIRE BRIEFS: Lightning blamed in gas leak

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Lightning blamed in gas leak

STONE MOUNTAIN — Officials said lightning is to blame in an overnight gas leak next to a Stone Mountain home in the 5800 block of Hammersmith Road.

Firefighters responded at 3:23 a.m. to a report of a grass fire next to a house, finding a small fire in some bushes and an active natural gas leak outside.

“It appears that lightning struck a nearby tree and ruptured an underground, plastic gas service line to the house,” said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

The lightning strike occurred during a brief thunderstorm that swept the area in the early morning hours. No damage to the house and no injuries were reported.

A man living at the home was evacuated and allowed to wait inside the responding fire truck to stay out of the pouring rain and lightning, Rutledge said.

An emergency crew from Atlanta Gas Light stopped the leak at 6:22 a.m., Rutledge said.

Smoke evacuates workers

DULUTH — Employees at GE Energy on Boggs Road in Duluth evacuated the building about 4 a.m. Friday after spotting smoke in a machine shop.

Fire crews found smoke inside the building on arrival, but no flames. The source of the smoke was determined to be a small, smoldering fire in the duct work of an air-conditioning unit.

“There was no damage to the building and no injuries reported,” Rutledge said.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown, Rutledge said.