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A Fire, An Explosion, An Evacuation. Arizona Regulators Want Answers From Southwest Gas

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 2:27pm
Updated: Friday, September 17, 2021 - 10:14am

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State utility regulators have summoned Southwest Gas Corporation to a special meeting on Tuesday.

Commissioners want to know more about a major fire, an explosion and the recent evacuation of homes in a wealthy part of the Valley.

A February gas-line fire caused a months-long closure of the Seventh Street bridge in Phoenix, and trails that are part of a nearby habitat restoration area won’t fully reopen for months.

Seventh Street bridge fire damage
City of Phoenix
Damage to the Seventh Street bridge over the Salt River from a fire on Feb. 28, 2021.

In August, a gas explosion at a Chandler print shop hospitalized people with serious burns.

This month, a gas leak in north Scottsdale caused home-evacuations and a three-alarm response by firefighters.

The trio of incidents have the Arizona Corporation Commission investigating the safety of Southwest Gas pipelines.

Records show Commissioner Sandra Kennedy called on her colleagues to have the utility answer questions.

Chandler explosion
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Four people have been taken to a hospital and several businesses have been evacuated following an explosion in west Chandler on Aug. 26, 2021.

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