Montgomery County firefighters responded to a gas leak and five residential fires between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday. Three of the fires were dispatched within nine minutes.
River Plantation and Grangerland Fire Departments responded to the first dispatch at 1:07 a.m., which was a strong smell of natural gas in the area of Albert Moorhead Road and Creighton Road, which turned out to be from a pop off valve. Montgomery County Sheriff’s patrol deputies discovered the leak, which was making a noise likened to a jet engine. Despite high winds, the concentration was very heavy in the area and an order was given to shelter in place.
Crews called the phone number on the fence around the well site, but the company that returned that call approximately 45 minutes to an hour later said the well was now owned by Centerpoint Energy. The flow of gas shut down just as Centerpoint representatives arrived.
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At 1:09 a.m., just two minutes after the gas leak was dispatched, the Lake Conroe and Montgomery Fire Departments responded to a residential fire at a one story brick home in the 19000 block of FM 2854 where there was fire in the attic. The ranch style home suffered extensive damage. It appeared the source of the fire may have been a heater, but the cause is still under investigation
Five minutes after the FM 2854 dispatch, at 1:14 a.m. the North Montgomery County Fire Department responded to a residential fire in the 15300 block of Arrowhead Loop where smoke detectors woke a family to find heavy fire in their living room, evacuated and called 911.
At 1:18 a.m., four minutes after the Arrowhead Loop dispatch, The Woodlands Fire Department responded to a chimney fire at a residence on Twin Springs Place
Less than two hours later, at 2:52 a.m., the South Montgomery County Fire Department was dispatched to a two-story residence in the 2600 block of Springstone Drive in the Fox Run Subdivision, with heavy fire on the second floor. This house had extensive damage to the second floor.
At 6:43 a.m., the New Caney Fire Department responded to a residence on Linwood Drive where fire was reported to be through the roof and appeared to be a chimney fire. Porter and Splendora Fire Departments also responded. The fire was quickly extinguished, minimizing damage.
Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams issued a statement on Friday praising the Fire Dispatch Center’s handling of the hectic and unusual situation. According to Williams, 15 apparatus responded to three of the scenes, while “units from The Conroe and New Waverly Fire Departments backed in and covered empty stations in the Lake Conroe and Willis areas respectively.”
Williams said in the case of the Arrowhead Loop fire, smoke detectors probably saved the family’s lives. In another of the fires, the smoke detector batters were recently removed because they were low, causing the detectors to beep, and they were not replaced Investigators are looking into all of the fires.
No serious injuries reported at any of the scenes, but the Fire Marshal reminds residents that there have been deaths elsewhere, such as the tragic death of a Channelview couple on Thursday night, which is why he continues to emphasize heater safety.