Contact: Steve Lipsher, Lake Dillon Fire Public Information Officer
Firefighters, police evacuate Silverthorne neighborhood after natural-gas incident
Summit County firefighters and police evacuated several blocks of a Silverthorne residential neighborhood Wednesday evening after a pickup truck crashed into a house and crushed a natural-gas line.
The incident occurred at 901 Rainbow Drive just after 7 p.m., when a pickup truck swerved off the road and crashed through the closed garage door of the unoccupied home. The driver was slightly injured but declined medical treatment.
Natural gas spewed from the broken utility pi…pe inside home, prompting the precautionary evacuation of about three square blocks for an hour, while workers from Xcel Energy cut off the gas.
Firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire, assisted by mutual-aid response from Copper Mountain Fire and Breckenridge’s Red, White & Blue Fire established hose lines and worked to ventilate the gas, while police from Silverthorne and Dillon established roadblocks and conducted the evacuation.
Although explosive, natural gas is lighter than air and will dissipate if vented to the outside.
The pickup was left partially intruding into the home until building officials can determine the structural integrity to prevent any collapse.
“We’re very fortunate that we didn’t have a worse problem on our hands,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “Thanks to everyone in the neighborhood who took seriously the ‘rotten egg’ smell of natural gas and cooperated with our efforts to prevent an explosion or fire.”