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Video: Pipeline explodes causing massive fire near Dixon, coroner called

A massive fire is burning east of Dixon, Illinois, possibly caused by an underground pipeline explosion.
Nathan Hummel

Watch the latest update from News 8's Lauren Simone below, or scroll to the second video. 

DIXON, Illinois -- The coroner has been called to the scene of a massive fire caused by a pipeline explosion.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department confirmed that it was a natural gas pipeline that exploded Tuesday morning, December 5th.  On their Facebook page they said Illinois Route 38 was closed between Nachusa Road and Robbins Road; drivers were being asked to avoid the area.

In addition, The Lee County Coroner's Office says they have been called to the scene.

During the investigation, energy company Kinder Morgan said they were "responding to a suspected third party line strike on a lateral on NGPL's system in Lee County, Illinois."  In their statement, the company added that they were "isolating the line and securing the area."

A witness, Nathan Hummel, told WQAD News 8 that firefighters started showing up to the area around 9 a.m. and that he could feel the heat about a quarter-mile away.

Hummel said his home is about a mile away from the blaze (as the crow flies).

"I can see the flames from my house... we took off to go find out what was going on," Hummel said. "I thought it was next door because of how big it was."

Hummel described seeing black smoke and flames that were shooting about 150 feet into the air.  He said he saw what looked like two burned-up tractors and a pickup truck on fire.

There have been no word on any injuries.  The Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating the scene.


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