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Gas Well Fire Prompts Early Morning Evacuations In Mercer Co.

SHENANGO TOWNSHIP (KDKA/AP) -- A fire at a Mercer County gas well briefly forced the evacuation of several homes within a one-mile radius of the well pad Saturday morning.

The fire at a Hilcorp Energy well pad along Pulaski Road in Shenango Township broke out around 5:45 a.m. when a high-pressure line ruptured and ignited.

Emergency dispatchers say residents of as many as 20 homes were evacuated.

Several fire companies responded and put out the blaze. Residents were permitted to return home after 8 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

Earlier this year, the Department of Environmental Protection released its findings in an investigation into an unrelated fatal gas well fire in Greene County back in February.

According to a statement from the DEP, "possible human error and a failed screw and nut assembly as factors that allowed gas to escape the well and led to the fire."

Expectant father Ian Robert McKee, 27, who had been living in Morgantown, West Virginia, with his fiancée, was killed in that fire.

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