February 23, 2011 11:55PM

AVELLA (KDKA) — Smoke billowed and flames burned for about three hours Wednesday night following the sounds of a large explosion at the site of a natural gas well in Washington County.
It was around 6:20 p.m. when people in the Avella area of Washington County in Independence Township were startled. First by what sounded like a large explosion, and then flames and smoke shooting high into the night sky.
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Emergency Response at well sites is of concern for nearby residents.  It is not the responsibility of volunteer first responders to come to the aid and directly be involved with a well emergency.  That dangerous task is left to paid corporate professional well control specialists, such as Cudd Well Control and Boots & Coots.  Our volunteer first responders will be more involved with the public component, maintaining a safe perimeter, evacuating residents when necessary and responding to the injured.

The Office of the State Fire Commissioner has offered initial training opportunities for first responders on emergencies at well sites.  Also, for your interest, you can view a power point of the March, 2013 Training Update.