Ruptured gas line causes major blaze in downtown Lewiston

LEWISTON, ID - The 5th Street Renovation Project erupted in flames after a gas line was ruptured Monday afternoon.

One of the contractors working on the project was digging with a back hoe, when they came in contact with a four inch gas line and ruptured it. The fire wasn't controllable until Avista workers were able to shut off the gas line.

Significant heat did come in contact with the old foods warehouse causing interior damage to the building and the back hoe that came in contact with the gas line suffered a total loss. However no one was injured during the accident. Lewiston Fire Department Chief Garry DeJong said Avista worked quickly to get damaged power lines restored.

"We don't have the estimate on the grid impact yet, Avista is still working on that," said DeJong. "However if you look through the downtown area, the majority of it is dark except for those who have generators. So there is a fairly substantial impact."

DeJong said Avista restored most everything as of five o'clock. They were able to redirect power and gas lines for local residents who were affected.