Enormous southwest Atlanta fire extinguished after gas leak sparks blaze; roads still closed

The fire erupted not far from a Chevron gas station at 2050 Sylvan Road around 10:30 a.m.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:23 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Flames are now “under control” after a gas leak caused a large blaze near a southwest Atlanta gas station, officials said.

The fire erupted not far from a Chevron gas station at 2050 Sylvan Road around 10:30 a.m. Nearly two and a half hours later, Atlanta Fire officials tamed the flames down. There were no injuries reported.

“There was work in the area and once the first unit found a gas leak was involved, a full alarm assignment was dispatched,” said Matt Driver, Atlanta Fire Rescue battalion chief.

The westbound and eastbound lanes of Highway 166 were shut down, as well as the intersection of Sylvan Road SW and Lakewood Avenue SW, according to the fire department. The highway has since reopened.

Sylvan Road SW between Estes Drive and Perkerson Road will remain closed for repairs, according to the Atlanta Department of Transportation. The exit and on-ramps to SR 166 at Langford Parkway will remain closed as well.

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The fire appears to have burned out a car, leaving a shell on the road.

“The gas station was our number one priority as far as exposure, and that’s why we had hose lines on,” said Driver.

Atlanta Gas Light said in a statement that a contractor doing work on traffic and street signal lights for the area damaged a 4-inch plastic natural gas line, causing the ignition. Atlanta Gas Light crews were working with first responders to contain the fire.

The gas station, Sylvan Learning Center and surrounding businesses were evacuated, according to Atlanta Fire Rescue.

“The contractor’s tractor, who was digging at the site caught fire as a result,” they said.

There are no outages for customers, the company confirmed.

Several nearby businesses were forced to evacuate as the fire unfolded.

Several had to close their doors early on Wednesday.

Many closed their doors early on Wednesday.

Corey Burke owns Mama Jane Seafood, which is located about a block from where the fire broke out. He didn’t have to evacuate, but says without gas available to cook food, there wasn’t much to sell at his shop on Wednesday.

“Everything is fried. “We couldn’t turn the fryers on,” Burke said. “So that kind of hurt us today.”