Gas Leak Sends Flames Shooting Into the Air in Pomona

Utility crews Wednesday were sent to repair a natural gas line that leaked and caught fire in Pomona, sending flames 30 to 40 feet into the air.

The problem was reported late Wednesday morning near Packard Drive and Phillips Boulevard, according to the Pomona Police Department. A utility worker who was near the scene suffered first degree burns when the flames shot up to the side of his face, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Roland Owen.

Traffic was routed away from the area and firefighters were sent to the scene as a precaution, as crews worked to shut off the flow of natural gas and prevent the flames from spreading to structures.

Due to the nature of the leak, firefighters could not douse the flames with water because the gas could possibly have sought "another point of origin," creating a bigger problem by coming into contact with other flammable materials, Owen said.

The leak could have been a lot worse, but crews were able to confine the leak to one area and prevent damage to structures and people, he said.

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