Huge Fire In Watonga Still Burns

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 6:28 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

WATONGA, Oklahoma -- A huge fire that started Monday night, following a natural gas rig explosion was still burning Tuesday night.

Flames could be seen as far away as 60 miles in the city of Piedmont.

Watonga firefighters were called to a natural gas explosion and met with flames shooting hundreds of feet in the air Monday night.

The company that owns the well, Continental Resources, says a well fire was reported while drilling the Moseley 1-5H about 3 miles East and 3 miles South of Watonga.

Then neighbors in the area heard a blast and flames and a neighborhood had to be evacuated.

Connie Quisenberry lives right next to the rig and says it fell over at the height of the flames Monday night.

"The whole rig, gas went everywhere I was so shook up," she said. "My husband went over to there to make sure there was nobody hurt." Officials say about a dozen men were on the rig at the time.

No one was hurt. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is investigating what started the fire.

Flames and smoke were still very visible Tuesday, leaving some neighbors wondering why the firefighters were no longer there, if it wasn't out.

"It's still burning really bad," Quisenberry said.

Watonga firefighters say it's safe for neighbors there; the fire is contained enough and turned it over to the company to handle the blaze now.

Quisenberry and about 20 of her neighbors were told to evacuate at the height of the flames.

Besides these barricades causing a few headaches for friends wanting to check on the neighbors, everyone in town is glad the 12 workers on that rig are ok, and the sheriff says he allowed the company to block off the road so no one gets too close.

9/20/2011 Related Story: People Return Home Following Watonga Natural Gas Rig Explosion

Huge Fire In Watonga Still Burns