Families able to return home after gas line explodes

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[Updated at 11:17 a.m., Tuesday, August 13, 2013]

Two families whose homes were located nearest to the explosion may return home, according to Enterprise Products, the company that owns the pipeline.

[Original story published at 1:32 a.m. on Tuesday, August 13, 2013]

ERIE, Illinois -All but two families are back in their homes after an overnight explosion and fire at a gas pipeline near Interstate 88 in Whiteside County.  There were no injuries.

Firefighters from the Erie Fire Department arrived at the scene around 11 p.m. Monday, August 12, 2013 on Albany Road just north of Interstate 88 near Erie.  Residents living within a one mile radius were evacuated Tuesday morning. Those residents have now returned to their homes.  Two families living nearest to the site of the ruptured gas pipeline are still being kept away.

The fire continued burning throughout the night as crews waited for the pressure to fall to a safe level, allowing crews to extinguish the fire and cap the gas leak.

Enterprise Products is the company that owns the pipeline.  Their workers were on scene Tuesday morning.  No cause is yet known.

Flames shot up at least 200 feet into the air. People tell News 8 they could see the flames off the interstate from as far away as Geneseo.

A Red Cross emergency shelter is open at the Erie Fire Department offering food, water and other services to residents affected by the pipeline fire.  At one point, about 40 people were in the shelter.

At the company's web site, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. says it has assets that span approximately 50,700 miles of pipeline in more than 27 states.

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