Friday, October 19 , 2018, 10:16 pm | Fair 67º


Santa Barbara Fire, Police Respond to Gas Leak

Officials say a contractor using a hand-held electric digging device with a metal space hit a natural gas line

Santa Barbara fire and police responded to a gas leak Monday afternoon near Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara.

There was a natural gas explosion on the 4000 block of Via Diego around 1:36 p.m., according to Santa Barbara City Fire.

A contractor was using a hand-held electric digging device with a metal space and hit a natural gas line, which triggered the explosion and fire. A coworker pulled the worker out of the hole and went to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. A city parks and recreation employee working nearby used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire in the hole, City Fire said. 

The workers had left the scene to go to the hospital before firefighters got to the scene, so it's unclear how badly burned the worker was, fire Capt. Gary Pitney said. 

Bystanders said the workers were trying to put out the fire from the broken gas line with a garden hose, but couldn't get it out. The parks worker just happened to stop across the street at the nearby park, Pitney added. 

"He ran over there with an extinguisher because they had no luck with the garden hose." 

Southern California Gas Company crews responded to the scene and City Fire will notify Cal/OSHA, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, of the incident, according to emergency radio traffic. 

City Fire posted a message reminding people to check or call 8-1-1 prior to digging.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.