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Morning Evacuations And Highway Closures After Raging Natural Gas Fire In Mansfield

MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) - A natural gas line fire caused hundreds of families to be evacuated in Mansfield and closed highways in the area.

It was around 1:00 a.m. on March 23 when a vehicle hit a natural gas pipeline near an Exxon service station at the intersection of Highway 360 and U.S. 287.

Flames, visible from miles away, engulfed the station and lit up the night sky.

Concerns about the leaking natural gas forced evacuations of residents living within a one-mile radius of the fire.

"With everybody coming out right here, you kind of see the magnitude of it and how scary it could be if it did ignite and go off," said evacuee Byron Matthews.

It took crews with the Mansfield Fire Department more than two hours to get the fire under control.

Evacuees were told to gather at Annette Perry Elementary School -- where they stayed until about 4:00 a.m.

One person, the driver of the vehicle that ran into the line, had serious burn injuries and was taken to the hospital by air ambulance.

Anyone traveling in the area can expect road closures in both the north and southbound lanes of Highway 287.

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