Oil well compressor on fire; homes evacuated
April 18, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2012 at 11:18 p.m.
Fire and oil field officials are waiting for natural gas to burn off from pipes leading to a compressor that is on fire on Dreyer Lane, near Mission Valley.
The fire started about 3:20 p.m. and continued to burn as of 9:30 p.m. Oil field workers were monitoring the fire.
Victoria Fire Marshal Ron Pray said he expected the fire to continue to burn for another 4-5 hours.
The pipelines leading into the compressor were closed shortly after the fire started.
Representatives from Valerus, which owns the gas compressor, were on site for several hours Wednesday afternoon.
"We're concerned. We want to see how much damage has gotten to it," said Valerus district manager Terry Reeb.
The Houston-based company asked him to respond to the site because of the value of the equipment in danger. "The compressor is about a $1.2 million piece of equipment. But believe it or not, this is not an uncommon occurrence in our business."
The company intends to investigate the fire along with Texas Railroad Commission, according to Pray.
Homes within a quarter mile of the equipment were evacuated until shortly before 8 p.m., when all attending firefighters were given leave to clear the scene, Pray said.