Natural Gas Fire at Mosaic of Auburn Hills
At 3:56 PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Auburn Hills personnel were dispatched to the area of Baldwin and Collier road for a natural gas leak with possible flames visible due to a back hoe hitting a natural gas line. Additional 911 calls to Oakland County Dispatch Center reported 40 to 50-foot flames visible from Baldwin road with fire spread to construction equipment and an apartment building.

First arriving units reported a working natural gas fire involving a back hoe, the apartment building showed significant heat damage but was not actively burning. The fire was elevated to a Box Alarm, requesting mutual aid from surrounding area fire departments to protect the structure and assist with extinguishing the fire. Fire personnel from Independence Fire Department, City of Rochester Fire Department, and Rochester Hills Fire Department responded to the scene and assisted Auburn Hills Personnel. Oakland Township Fire Department personnel assisted by providing Auburn Hills residents with coverage during the incident.

The fire was extinguished at 5:45 PM after Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison personnel disconnected electric and natural gas service to the apartment complex.

Witness statements indicate that a natural gas crew was digging a trench to move an approximately 3” natural gas feeder line when the back hoe struck the gas line, and an underground electric power line, igniting the natural gas. A 31-year-old male that was operating the back hoe at the time of the fire was transported to a local hospital with severe burns to be stabilized, he was later transferred to a local burn center to care for his injuries. His status is not known at this time. The incident has been reported to MIOSHA for possible further investigation. Consumers power company personnel are currently on scene working to restore natural gas service to residents affected by the gas outage.

Incident 19-1414

Media contact:
Ellen Taylor, Fire Chief
Auburn Hills Fire Department