Natural Gas Fire and Jeep Fire After Lightning Strike Brings Down Power Line, Transformer on Johnson St Near Cedar St, Palatine

Jeep on fire after being ignited from radiant heat of gas flame out of ground
Jeep on fire after being ignited from radiant heat of gas flame out of ground (PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Powell).

Palatine police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 5:07 PM Saturday June 1, 2019 to a report of a downed power line and downed transformer after a lightning strike on Johnson Street east of the intersection of Johnson Street and Cedar Street Palatine, Il. Police and firefighter/paramedics arrived to find a downed power line with an underground natural gas line ignited. The fire was threatening a Jeep, but the fire could not be extinguished because of the energized downed power line which was still active with arcing. Firefighters could also smell natural gas as the fire was burning and as the downed power line was actively arcing.

A second power line also fell as firefighters were on the scene.

Firefighters also had to be careful not to extinguish the natural gas fire before Nicor shut down the gas line — to prevent gas from building up and flaring up if it were ignited again.

The natural gas-fed fire eventually ignited the Jeep with it first showing signs of igniting at about 5:37 p.m.

ComEd arrived about 5:40 p.m.

Firefighters had water on the fire by about 5:44 p.m. ComEd cut off the power at about 5:51 p.m. The vehicle fire was extinguished by about 5:53 p.m.

There were no injuries reported and firefighters were standing by to extinguish the gas fire as soon as Nicor cut off the gas supply. Nicor was also checking gas levels in the interior of nearby buildings — especially basements.

An unknown number of people were evacuated from their homes.

ComEd reported 129 customers were without power near the Johnson Street incident. Over 700 people were without power in other neighborhoods of Palatine after the storm blew through the area about 5:20 p.m.

Johnson Street and Cedar Street, Palatine
Customers Affected: 129
Crew Status: Additional Crews Dispatched
Probable Cause: Damaged Power Line(s)
Estimated Restoration: Jun 1, 7:30 PM

Downed power line arcing and smoking
Downed power line arcing and smoking (PHOTO CREDIT: Alaine Krakowski)
Power line, arcing, flaming up with gas-fed fire
Power line arcing, flaming up with gas-fed fire (PHOTO CREDIT: Alaine Krakowski).
Jeep beginning to ignite from radiant heat
Jeep beginning to ignite from radiant heat (PHOTO CREDIT: Alaine Krakowski).

LIVE TRAFFIC MAP of neighborhood of the incident near Johnson Street and Cedar Street Palatine, Il …

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Jeep smoking before igniting from radiant heat of nearby gas-fed fire
Jeep smoking before igniting from radiant heat of nearby gas-fed fire (PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Powell).
Gas-fed flame rising from ground
Gas-fed flame rising from ground (PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Powell).
Jeep on fire after being ignited from radiant heat of gas flame out of ground
Jeep on fire after being ignited from radiant heat of gas flame out of ground (PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Powell).