DEP Set To Investigate After Gas Well Fire In Avella

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.

“I was in the house eating dinner and I just heard a big explosion, the whole house rattled and I had no idea what it was,” said Katie Leeper, a neighbor. “[I] came outside and saw the fire over there.”

The explosion and fire involved natural gas liquid storage tanks situated on private property used in the extraction of natural gas from beneath the earth’s surface.

“It was natural gas liquids in a storage tank. It’s a natural substance that comes up out of the ground. It’s collected in the tanks, separated from the gas stream, but I don’t have any addition information in regards to that,” said Stacey Brodak, of Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection says the three contractors who were injured were in the final phase of their particular operation.

There is no word on their conditions, but it is believed that they were taken to Pittsburgh-area hospitals for treatment of burns.

Neighbors say the sound was unmistakable.

“All you heard was an explosion. I knew something happened because after you heard the explosion, you heard the noise from the flairs,” said Paul Kanish, another neighbor. “So when I walked around the other side of my house, I seen the flairs were going down, and then all you seen was this big ball of fire burning up there on the hill.”

Because of the remote location of the gas well, firefighters used tankers to bring in water to help extinguish the flames. It took about three hours to put the fire out.

Officials say volunteers from as many as two dozen departments from Washington County as well as from West Virginia were at the scene.

Authorities say no evacuations were necessary for the nearby area.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is set to open an investigation into what caused the fire on Thursday.

Fire crews remained on scene late Wednesday, putting water on the tanks to keep them cool.

Washington County
Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC
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One Comment

  1. mother nature says:

    …and they want to put one of these things 50 feet from my front door, in an R-1 neighborhood, on a dead end street? Is that what our country’s founding fathers intended with the Bill of Rights? There are too many corrupt judges and politicians making self serving decisions in favor of greedy gas drillers and the kickbacks they produce. Let them all experience one in their own front yard and pray it doesn’t explode and kill THEIR family or destroy THEIR property. I pray no one was hurt or killed in this most recent random gas well explosion.

    1. s walters says:

      i don’t think he’s hating any one accountability, the polltician’s and money have none. Just hope you don’t live near one of the 20 plus inch main and it go off.

    2. TIM says:

      Maybe we will find out that what caused that explosion out there was a faulty set of brakes on a Pickup Truck that was bought new 2 years ago at Washington Ford, does not have a PA Plate, or a PA Weight Class Sticker, or ever had a PA State Inspection, or at least have an Apportioned Decal of some kind on it, and it has never been to TEXAS!

      We have to wake up folks!
      We need our elected officials to buck up, and quit accepting Super Bowl Tickets from Console, and start making decision that protect the interest off all Pennsylvania RESIDENTS!!

      We need a Gas Well Zoning created by the state, and a law that forces any and every pickup truck or larger that enter/exit that well site, to be Inspected/Registered/Wt.Class Stickers/Apportioned/ to a business entity here in Pennsylvania. After all, People from Texas don’t know a thing about driving in the snow, rusting cars, damage from pot holes, or how to buy snow tires and safety equipment needed to survive here (Arguing that is why we have those things in place)

      Wait until on of these COWBOYS wrecks the truck, that is 3-4 years old, never been inspected, never been home to TEXAS, etc. Then we will find out that they are “self insured” claiming that since they own 25 ragged out Diesel Trucks that they are worth alot of money in Texas (again something that if they had Pennsylvania Plates) would not be permitted here as we dont allow unbonded self insured to exist here in PA.

      1. adam kauffman says:

        first of all tim. i work in the oilfield and the company trucks we drive have texas plates on them and do get regulary maintenced here in pa. at all the local shops, so tell me how is that not helping out economy. and if u knew anything about the trucks we drive pay attention man look at the tires 99% of the trucks have some type of off-road-tire on them, as well as every company vehicle up here is insured. and most of the guys here havent just came from texas they have worked all over and many states that it snows in. so before you open your mouth and say none of us can drive in the snow know what the F your talking. and yes i do live in pa born and raised.

      2. Tim says:

        I own 2 3/4 Ton or Larger trucks… I pay $56 for plates on both! I pay additional money for Weight Class Stickers! My trucks are immaculate, serviced daily, and are insured here. Between tires, brakes, stickers, insurance, inspections, registrations, it probably costs me $3000-$6000/yr to keep my truck on the road/safe/legal.

        Having “MUD TIRES” does not mean the thing is safe! Where all these trucks get parked at the local park and ride up the street from my house… the inside tire on the dual rear wheels are both worn out, not even touching the road on some truck (THIS IS A SOUTHERN THING WHERE THEY DONT HAVE INSPECTION, logic behind it is that when the truck is loaded the tires touch the ground displacing the weight) TOTALLY NOT SAFE!!

        The reason they wont bring the trucks here, is because it is cheaper to register them elsewhere, and never take them home for inspection… and hope that when they throw the truck away in 48 months that it did not blow a break line or a tire in the meantime.

        JUST WAIT a CRACKDOWN is coming!!

      3. adam kauffman says:

        i understand what your saying, but your looking at the trucks that arent owned by a company, whenver maintance is needed the company provides it without a problem. once a month we take our company vehicles to the shop and have them completly maintance some of our trucks have texas plates but most of our trucks have PA plates as well. I cant speak for other companys just the one i work for. i understand your concerns and am glad that your not just one of the people who only see bad from anything the oil field is doing.

      4. Tim says:

        And if those trucks are so safe and maintained…

        GET Apportioned plates/decals

        GIVE PA RESIDENTS THE easy ability of dealing with the truck/driver/company w/ legal actions after an accident occurs by having a “BUSINESS” entity present in that state!!

        WE CAN DO THAT!!

        My wife works in health care and her company has an office on one side off the Ohio River… West Virginia required her to have an office on the other side of the Ohio River to be licensed to do business in the state of West Virginia, the vehicles used to make deliveries in West Virginia had to be registered in WV or be DOT Apportioned (HUGE HUGE HUGE COSTS) so then West Virginia Insurance/Plates/Inspection were all required!

        Vehicle Operations and Costs are a huge indicator to profit being made… hiding that stuff in an OFFICE 17 states away is a good way to hide how much money is being made!!

    3. Sylvan says:

      How about this solution? If you don’t want people/companies drilling for energy… stop using it. If you don’t want companies drilling natural gas wells, have your gas company remove your meter and disconnect. If you don’t want companies drilling for oil… stop buying anything that requires oil distiaite products, not just gasoline. If you don’t know what is created from oil distilate, then your comments could be considered to be made out of ignorance.

      Careful what you wish for.. you most likely will not like the result.

      1. TIM says:

        I burn firewood!
        I’ll admit I must buy gasoline and I have natural gas for my stove/backup heat, but honestly it’s not about you or me reducing our energy consumption (I have $3000 worth of LED light bulbs in my home/office) My comments are not made out of ignorance. Energy Traders are MAKING MILLIONS, while the rest of us are getting burnt to a crisp!! (sadly in this case the burning happened) I feel so sorry for those guys who are out busting their ass to make $15/hr. The well owners/investors are sipping drinks on a beach some place making $15,000,000 an hour! Just wait till the middle east totally goes to hell and the SUEZ CANAL gets attacked! Gas will goto $7.50/gallon over night!

        Careful what I wish for?? Can I wish for the demise of the energy trading that is driving up the cost?? RAPE ME so you can live as you wish?? I DONT THINK SO!

      2. John Moyer says:

        the solution is to stop drilling until we can do it safely, like they did in New York state.

    4. Work for oil? GO TO HELL says:

      If you’re from pa and you are in the oil industry you are a sell out…. Ever see or read Grapes of Wrath? Thats you! I hope you go to hell!

      1. Sylvan says:

        Tim… you bring another aspect of the business to the table. Let me ask you something; how stable would be the price of corn if there were no corn futures traders? Futures traders do two things, first they remove price risk from the farmer and second, they create price discovery. Why is this important? because the farmer sells his corn (via a futures contract) BEFORE he even fuels the tractor to plant the first seed.

        With contract in hand, the farmer can now secure a loan with the bank to buy the seed and other things needed to create the harvest. When the farmer completes his harvest, he gets paid per the contract price. What happens to that contract after the farmer sells the contract to the Futures trader has no impact on the farmer… isolating the farmer from price risk… which ensures he will plant and produce.

        The same game is played with all commodities including energy. Thjis however was not my poinit. If you reduce demand, you will reduce production and also increase the efficiency of production, transportation and distribution. The electric energy world is trying to build a “smart grid” to address the very issue of utilizing existing capacity rather than build new primary energy burning facilities.

        Mr. Work for Oil… I have no idea what you are talking about.

    5. wags says:

      hahahaha 50 feet? Ms. CLOWN, that is absolutley impossible. a drilling site for Marsellus takes over 5 acres.

  2. Donald says:

    It shook my house. I thought my water tank blew.

    1. TIM! says:




    2. Tammie Hampe-Hall says:

      I live right in Avella, and felt the shake, of what the top officials say was not an EXPLOSION. This morning, in Mt.. Pleasant,, (Hickory), another well had trouble, but they said it was not on fire, nor did it EXPLODE, if this is the case, then, why did my uncle who lives right on 18 across from Caldwell Road, think his house was being overtaken by a BIG RIG… This is a SIGN, people TO STOP THE DAMN DRILLING. But as long as the RICH ARE GETTING RICHER, this won’t happen. What are these wells doing to our water, and what are they putting in our air??? I guess the SHAKES we felt, are just figments of our IMAGINATION, WELL THAT IS WHAT THE GAS DRILLER OFFICIALS WANT US TO BELIEVE….. WAKE UP! THESE ARE SIGNS DRILLING SHOULD BE STOPPED.

  3. sctt says:

    wow what a comment have a heart dude i understand what there doing to our land all but that was un called for

  4. TTBB says:

    @ Richard…thats horrible that you could think like that! Lives may hav been lost, and u should b ashamed of yourself for even wishing something like that…dont b jealous cause u did not get to profit from the gas wells!!! i cant believe some ppl could b so inconsiderate Idiots!!!

  5. Jed says:

    It shook my house also. I’m directly below it and knew exactly what it was. Knew it was a terrible idea to let these vultures drill. They really have no clue what they are doing. If I’m not killed by one of their careless tanker truck driver I guess it will by in a fiery explosion.

    1. It shook my house and I went right out with my camera, I knew what it was. I have had a bad feeling about this site since they started.

  6. Let's Just Never Advance says:

    I am saddened to hear that this happened. It is a shame that all of our energy resources are obtained in ways that are not able to be made 100% safe. I think it is wonderful how many jobs and how much tax revenue these wells are bringing to an area with pratically no industry and business left. Many people are benefitting from these wells who aren’t part of the gas industry. Let’s continue our dependence on foreign oil. Let’s all hug trees after we pay $5/gallon at the pump and pay $500 heating bills. Isn’t ironic that we have evidence of ancient man at Meadowcroft and many people in Avella haven’t advanced their thinking beyond Neanderthals on this and many other issues. So sad.

    1. Kathleen says:

      We have had years to advance and become energy dependent But for whatever reason the oil companies and the U.s. government choose to prop up dictators in the Middle East, now the chickens are coming home to roost.
      don’t blame the “tree huggers”
      Marshalleis Shale going to be an enviromental disaster for the poor people in the area if they sell out to the highest bidder &Pa. politciians don’t insist on EPA regulations.

    2. J says:

      So it stands to say you want to be 100 percent safe. Tell me even one thing that is 100 percent safe.

      There is far more auto accidents than there is these gas well explosions…do wed all quit driving?

      how bout motorcylces…better get rid of them!

      uh oh better not take any baths way to easy to drown especially little kids.

      1. TIM says:

        Advance your self Kathleen
        Walk to and from your job in Hemp Sandals, once you get there ride an exercise bike/generator all day to power your computer, and spend every last penny you have on buying ENERGY CREDITS to be carbon neutral…

        If you still have a Ford Explorer after reading the above… you are part of the problem… We are all part of the problem! As long as we keep spending on Energy and using it like we do… We are OWNED by these people!

        (Just Fyi I drive a Jeep and I’m owned by them too) What other choice do I have? If I drove a Prius what are they gonna do when the battery in it goes bad or leaks?

  7. Joseph Furbee says:

    These past few months have seen a rising number of these explosions/fires. They will continue to rise with the more wells that are drilled. Sooner or later, one of these so called compressor stations is going to blow, only then will the state take a real look at the regulations or should I say the lack of regulations that are really meaningful. These companies cut corners everyday, to them the risks are worth the enormous profits the are reaping. Besides that, our so called legistrators and elected officals do not listen to the people, they are to busy taking trips that are paid for by these drilling companies.

  8. Brooke says:

    This explosion happened on the hillside along my house. My whole house shook. It felt like an earthquake. Ran outside to see black smoke everywhere.

  9. I love the drillers says:

    The best thing that ever happend to this area was the gas industry or we all would have sank by now end of comment.

    1. really, you would sell your soul and the health of others. that is sad.

    2. Kathleen says:

      I think you have a lot of prisons in your area maybe some of the people destroying the land and water will end up there.

    3. Andy says:

      would have sunk, I believe.

  10. local says:

    I work in the oil field and this is really sad to hear. But im also a local. Born and raised. I also have almost 300 acres of farm land and I am all for the oil field. Jobs, poor farmers becoming rich farmers, there’s countless pros to having the oil field here. And ppl talk about safety… I used to be a union worker till the economy fell through and I can tell you that most of these gas wells have more safety protocalls than a union construction job. And if you’re worried about the compressor stations blowing up you should do some research to know what your talking about because there’s only a hand full of compressors up and running in the area.

  11. valerie/sarek checco says:

    my son is on that call he is in with AVELLA FIRE COMPANY 35

  12. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

    wow I cant believe people in this town can be so selfish and self serving. There was men on that site that are seriously hurt or possibllity die and all your worried about is your property damage. First off the property owners allowed them on their land to drill and got paid big money for it. Its clear the people who comment nothing but hate for the drill rigs on here are mad because they couldnt cash in themselves. Maybe if it was your husband or family member on these rigs you would be more understanding. My heart goes out to the men and their families. And for those who commented hate may god forgive you

    1. bus says:

      Think you misunderstand. There was only one landowner that benefited from the location of the explosion. Other people in the neighborhood were offered $125 or nothing at all. But really the money is irrelevant when your talking about the safety of your family. Fracking hasn’t been around for too long and it’s poorly regulated. But the almighty dollar prevails. In the end everyone loses except the corporate slime.

  13. Think first! says:

    Undeniable ignorance by the commenters that post negativity about the companies and the infrastructure and politicians that support them. The benefits of these companies severely outweighs the drawbacks. Furthermore, the person who said “50 feet from doors”. The oil and gas act cites a minimum of a 200 foot setback from structures. Get your facts first, then talk. Think first, open mouth second.

    This is a tragedy, but tell me what industry is without the possibility of danger. You will find none.

    1. Bob says:

      What benefit outweighs the health & safety of your family?

  14. Nancy says:

    Now they want to put a compressor station on Rt. 980! Just say NO Cecil Twp residents!!

  15. Marianne Hunnell says:

    Thank you Lisa….God Bless the ones that were hurt & the ones that are on the call.

  16. skelly says:

    I understand we need natural gas and generally it is a good thing. My prayers go out to the people hurt in the accident. this is a big time heavy industrial process. It should not be done near others property. I also feel that the drillers infringe on the clean air water and safety of nearby neighbors. Setbacks from neighbors should be measured in miles not feet.

  17. Karen says:

    Lord, I just lift up those that were injured and in danger in this and ask for Your hand of peace, protection and healing. I ask you to bless the families and pray that they would seek You for their loved ones. Please bless the firefighters of which one is very close to my heart. We ask you to bless them back a hundredfold for their efforts to keep people safe. Give people your heart for what is right and true Lord and let them love each other with your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  18. Tony Islamorada says:






    1. Oilfield employee supervisor says:

      People think they know bout drilling. Well here is the think they take so many precautions and do not do anything cheap. You all who think that need to see it and what and how they set the sites. I am a pa oilfield employee.

      1. Yankee Pride says:

        You lost me at YOU ALL.

      2. Tim says:

        You also cant type or spell or use grammer for sh!T

      3. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

        I agree with you the people complaining have never been to a drill rig or know what goes on they only hear about it. So unless you have worked or have direct knowledge then keep your rude comments to yourself. The Families Don’t need your Hate they Need your Prayers.

      4. Brittany says:

        Why is it that the only arguments against what the employee says consist of insults? What he’s saying doesn’t warrant trash-talking. Why would you insult a person who has first-hand knowledge of the subject that you so passionately argue about?

    2. GAS DUDE says:


      1. Andy says:

        if that is true, then why did the explosion occur?

  19. jon says:

    you people have no idea what gas wells are about except what you hear from news casts and hear say. i have been part of numerous well sites. safety is a huge priority, but god forbid accidents do happen. there are risks in everything. for the people that are against drilling are obviously not benefiting for them weather its owning the land, having a job with a company that moves the dirt, a company that drills, a company that supplies the materials or the company that rehabs the site. stop and think about all the jobs it has created. and pray for those injured.

    1. Concerned American says:

      To Jon – FYI – The biased news is the last place we get our information. There is a very informed, intellectual population that have researched and continues to monitor this industry who are quietly observing this situation.

    2. Andy says:

      jon, I really want to lend credibility to your argument but your spelling and grammar are so substandard that it’s hard fir me to take you seriously. You seem illiterate to me..

  20. Holly Hall says:

    Please leave your rude and ignorant comments elsewhere. Oilfield is just as dangerous as Military so PLEASE give a little respect for these HARD WORKING MEN.
    Lord I ask you to touch each and every hand out on that site.

    1. jon says:

      amen maam.

    2. Local Vet says:

      Please think before posting. Just as dangerous as the military? Get a clue.

    3. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

      the vet that posted really??? why don’t you get a clue and have some respect for the families.

  21. Alexandria George says:

    There is seriously something wrong with you

  22. dave says:

    Who’s gas well is it? Atlas, Range?

    1. pray for the injured says:

      It is a Chesapeake Site

  23. RICO says:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait until these roaches have 2,000 more wells, with pipes 2 to 3 thousand feet down and the earth begins to shake when a 7.2 earth quake hits the region. The area is beginning to be over populated with southern boys who could care less about the value system that existed before their arrival. Get ready folks, the hell house for all is not to far into the future. By the way, all important jobs are being given to out of town boys and girls. Very few for local people. Thanks governor Swindell and all the other phoney politicans for providing a gateway to hell.

    1. Rico, you are right about all the jobs and the earth quakes, It is starting in Texas in regions that have had lots of drilling.

    2. Brittany says:

      I’m sorry, but this seems a bit ignorant. “Southern boys who could care less about the value system that existed before their arrival?” Really? Have you spoken to any of these people? How do you know what they care about?

      And I find it funny that you think that all important jobs are being given to “out of town boys and girls.” In fact, many employees from other areas were brought here because the vast majority of locals hired for positions usually lasted less than a month. With that turnover, I suppose it is hard to promote locals who didn’t realize what a tough job it is.

      Please get your facts straight. Although, judging by your language and name-calling, I’d say you lack many of those, as you seem to resort to the ruder forms of communication. I think we’ve made it clear that name-calling and calling out does not get a point across, but actually deters from the point you’re trying to make.

      And please, show a little compassion for the injured guys.

  24. Aaron schoenfeldt says:

    You guys that are bigering need to think about the men that go out there in the oil field to get the gas for your cars and your heaters and all the others things that need gas really need to stop and think because you wouldn’t have the things that you do now that need gas to run them you wouldn’t get to go all around the world on airplanes because THEY NEED GAS !!!!!!!!

  25. Concerned American says:

    Keep these away from schools and residential areas especially all of those that are undermined by the Coal Barons of years gone by. Not sure how natrual gas gets us free of the Middle Easy oil. I don’t see a lot of natrual gas cars (bombs). Where are the electric cars? Let’s get the car manufactrurers out from under the thumbs of the oil companies. Libya……………..

  26. KeepItClassy says:

    Whether you feel this is right or wrong is your opinion. That’s why we live in the United States of America. I hope a common thread among us is compassion for those that may be injured, the fire fighters responding to the call and the families in the area that may be affected by this.

  27. Kathy says:

    I pray for the men that were hurt. What a terrible tragedy. Something needs to be done with this industry. And please dont use the comment “you are complaining because you are jealous” or “you are complaining because you dont own your mineral rights” so untrue. And thats getting very old. Really! The people that complain the most are the ones that DO own their mineral rights. Dont worry you will be complaining next. Oh, and… this oil and gas is being sold to Canada and the north eastern states…. AND over seas. Just check out your PA gas pipelines. You can find them online. You will soon learn first hand like I have and like many others have. And you will yell out the loudest. But it will be to late no one will be left to listen.

    1. Kathy, I see you have done your research. thank-you.

      1. Kathy says:

        Yes American Bad Ass.. I have. Thank You. I have been studying this industry for the past 3 years. And I will continue until I move far far away from this place. I wonder if people are praying for the young man that lives over the hill from me that is sick with arsenic poisoning? He got sick a year after they drilled on their property. I pray for him and the gas drillers at the same time. Neither injuries are acceptable.

    2. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

      hey Kathy if thats your REAL NAME. Please Tell Us What the Name of your Business Is SINCE you Don’t Want Our Business. I would Hate to Support your Business or You. So Please Tell Us. What Scaried????

  28. Brittany says:

    @ Everyone who has complaints about the natural gas wells being in your area, here’s a word for you. As a Southerner who came up here for her fiance’s and father’s jobs in the natural gas business, I have a few complaints myself.
    1 – The majority of you Pennsylvanians are jerks. Get over yourselves. Note that I did not say all, so don’t start with the flaming.
    2 – You’re right, these guys definitely shouldn’t do their jobs to make everyone’s lives easier / better.
    3 – In fact, why don’t you guys try to tax these guys more? After all, they’re only risking their lives and working their butts off day in and out, with very little time with their families. Yeah, you should definitely punishing them for doing their jobs.
    4 – You don’t want them drilling near you? Okay, good luck with gas prices.
    5 – Would you like to know how many farms these wells have saved? How many millions of dollars have been paid out to farmers whose farms were on the way out, who then provide your fresh crops locally, and circulate more money into your area?
    6 – Lastly, why don’t all the southerners leave already? Not a bad idea. The few guys that have attempted the job that are from this area have left rather quickly, unable to handle the work. So we’ll go ahead and leave, since our money obviously isn’t welcome. So for all you landlords will be missing rent, retail employees will lose hours when your store isn’t meeting its numbers, etc.

    And don’t preach to me. My fiance was one of the ones at this well, along with my father.

    1. Concerned American says:

      Brittany – While I hope your father and fiance are okay and out of harms way, this isn’t The North vs. The South. We are all under one flag these days. Think about that.

      1. Yankee Pride says:

        Go home.

      2. Brittany says:

        Indeed, we are under one flag these days. This was precisely the mindset my family and I had when relocating here. Unfortunately, if you scroll up and read the previous comments, or speak to some of the locals that I have, you will see that my comments are IN RESPONSE to those insisting that “those southern boys” have no respect for the value system in place, etc. I appreciate your concern for my father and fiance, who are both safe, but still on location.

        Yankee Pride – Your ignorance and, might I add, clever attitude (so original, aren’t you?) are exactly the reason that I plan to do just that. I refuse to continue to contribute to a community that is so closed. While that doesn’t include everyone, the majority rules in this case. It’s disgusting. Shouldn’t everyone’s real concern be these guys who were hurt?

      3. Concerned American says:

        To Brittany — It’s unfortunate that you have not experienced the ‘friendliness’ that does prevail from the western pa area. Where this explosion occurred is a very tight knit area where everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business. You could’ve been born and raised just 20 miles away from this area and still not been ‘accepted’ had you decided to move to Avella. Likewise, I’m sure had many northerners moved into small, tightknit southern communities, the reception to these new folks what have been lukewarm as well at first. In fact, this did happen in the late 70’s and 80’s when the steel industry left this area and many of our unemployed population moved south for employment. They eventually were absorbed into their environment/state. Again, this is what II’ve tried to convey that we all live under one flag. Our country is lucky that it is the large size that it is. If our legislators and people don’t preserve, protect and respect the land that we all live on, irregardless of state, we may one day not have this luxury to move about as we do today..

      4. Brittany says:

        Concerned – I don’t live in or near Avella, nor were any of my comments to the residents of Avella, but to any Pennsylvanians who have the “get out” mentality for various reasons.

        I understand what you’re saying, including the bit about accepting newcomers to an area. I don’t have a problem with that, as every community is different (although I’ll admit my hometown is quite different, but larger). My original post was made in anger, and was directed at those with outright hostile attitudes towards the guys that are here to do their jobs, and their families. It makes me sad to think about it on any day, but to see these negative comments in light of this disaster, I was especially upset, and let my anger get the best of me.

      5. Concerned A says:

        Brittany — your anger and comments are understood.

    2. Kathy says:

      I hope and pray that your family is safe tonight and every night. Not only at work but in their everyday life. SO sorry that you feel MOST people in Pa are jerks. We didnt ask you to come here. You are OUR guest. If you dont like it then please leave. I am a business women and i was doing just fine before you all came. WE dont need your business and I dont need a lease. I hope you dont represent the rest of the gas drilling workers. But from what I have experienced YOU DO. Please feel free to go home anytime. Is this 2011 or 1861?

      1. kristine miller says:

        Its comments like this that make her feel this way. Eveyone has a job to do this just happens to be our lifestyle. I hope you don’t think you are speaking for eveyone with this comment. You seem to be a person who walks with god I bet he is ashamed with the way you chose to use your words. Being a business woman I’m sure you travel and you don’t expect to be treated rude or looked down upon because you are not from there or Because of the job you chose to do. I am heart broken for all of the negative energy and comments. God bless you and your family.

      2. Brittany says:

        Actually, my feelings about the residents here being primarily “jerks” are due to the ones that I have personally met that hear why our men are here and immediately act in the above-stated way. My original post was entirely to those above who have problems with us – for no apparent reason! I came here with an open heart, interested in the culture, and have been shunned, cursed at, and treated as less than a person simply because of my roots and my fiance’s/father’s line of work. THIS is why I have made these comments.

        And quite frankly, I find it disgusting that people would rather say “Go home” or use crass language to state their opinions. Oh, and the trailer park reference . . . really classy. Educate yourself, because your ignorance is laughable. I pity you. Really. Yankee Pride, you need a reality check. You claim to be educated, yet all you seem capable of is thoughtless insults with no basis. I don’t seek to be welcomed with open arms, I just hope that my friendliness doesn’t warrant hostility in others . . . something that I’ve lost hope in here.

        Kristine, I appreciate your understanding. Our guys may not not have Harvard degrees, but they work hard, and they are making an honest day’s pay. They don’t leech off of the system, and they provide well for their families.

        The problem with this whole scene is that everyone is more worried about calling out those who are just doing their jobs, rather than being concerned with the men who were hurt and their families. Open your hearts. You don’t have to be a religious person (I definitely am not) to feel for someone and their suffering.

      3. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

        hey Kathy if thats your REAL NAME. Please Tell Us What the Name of your Business Is SINCE you Don’t Want Our Business. I would Hate to Support your Business or You. So Please Tell Us. What Scaried????

    3. Yankee Pride says:

      Wait…so you start your argument with stating that the majority of Pennsylvanians are jerks? What do you expect? You want to be welcomed with opened arms? Don’t go away mad just go away, I’m sure there is a trailer somewhere down there jam packed with 12 cousins that miss your loving touch. Clever enough for you?

      1. Kathy says:

        I surely would not go on a business trip and then call my host a jerk. Sorry that she feels this way. Its so untrue. Almost funny. I am certain that GOD is not ashamed of me. And I surely dont need you to lecture me on God. Come on……. LOL

    4. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

      I hope and pray your fiance and father are doing ok. My husband works in the oil field as well we are from here and thankful for the job. It is dangerous alot of jobs are. We spend our money just like anyone else and as for the town of Avella count the number of people on welfare, without jobs, and on ssi. Not saying everyone but more than half. I think the people who have commented rude comments on here need to stop using our gas, shut off your gas service to heat your house, and walk to work since our families are Not wanted. What about the Miners how many of those accidents did you jump all over the workers for. The dig below your house research the affects of that before you preach about how bad the Oil field is. This nothing more than most of people in this town didnt get any money. The Farmers who owned this Land are now making money off it. I think after 100 years of farming they deserve to put a drill rig on their property if they want. Do they tell you what you can do with your property No. Whats Next you people complaining going to start telling us how to spend Our money too. Heres a thought look up rent prices 2 years ago in Avella Pa then look up the most recent prices, some with property value, a dump is going for 100 thousand. But the drill rigs are so Bad.

      1. Brittany says:

        Thanks Lisa. The guys are doing well, but I feel so terrible for those injured. My heart goes out to them and their families.

    5. Terri says:

      Brittany, I am sorry that the people of PA have not been kind to you. I married a man that grew up in Avella, and his family has lived on their land for well over 200 years. You are seeing a side of PA I didn’t think existed. When I visit Avella I have found the people nice and friendly. I truly think this oil business has caused a lot of greed, even among family members. But it has also brought some money to the area that was in need. I am sorry there were people hurt in this tragedy and I pray that they will be fine. I truly believe the oil companies are doing everything they can to make sure it is safe. But just like anything else accidents do happen, that is why they are called accidents. I know there are good people in this area and I know they would be appalled at some of the comments left on this blog. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state and it has many great and kind people living in it. I sure hope you get to meet some of them very soon. May God bless you and your family and all the men and families of these hard workers.

  29. valerie/sarek checco says:

    MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE ONES THAT GOT HURT ON THE GAS WELL . Please bless the firefighters of which one is very close to my heart . We ask you to bless them back a hundredfold for their efforts to keep people safe. Give people your heart for what is right and true Lord and let them love each other with your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen. GOD BLESS EVERY FIRE FIGHTER ON CALL AND MY SON JAMES CHECCO .WITH STATION 35.

  30. Aaron schoenfeldt says:

    You guys really need to stop and think about the men and women that go out there to drill for the gas that goes in your car really stop and think about it because they are born on those rigs and will die on those rigs to get your gas ?

  31. Aaron schoenfeldt says:

    What about the families that have to think every day about there family thinking hope that they come home or I hope that they don’t die on a rig fire my family was born on the rigs and we will stay on the rigs till we die so why don’t you go out there and see what the men and women that do those jobs so you go try it .

    1. Yankee Pride says:

      Don’t have to cause I gots me an education.

  32. mike says:

    Hope that all involved are safe.. this work is no cake walk. I am still waiting to see my gas price do some thing besides go up though!

  33. Sally Knode says:

    This is my old hometown, I am so sorry for all the people that got hurt. My heart goes out to everyone. So So Sad

  34. To those of you who think this gas is going to help the USA other than money are wrong. This gas is being sent for the most part to Europe where there is a shortage and the price is high.
    The Village of Avella is being surrounded by wells. It is a very dangerous situation.

    1. Concerned A says:

      To Badass — You’re right. If you trace the selling of the leases, you will find that the money trail goes to Norway and China. So, to all those pro-drillers out there, if this drilling is to benefit America, why did I get a notice from my natural gas company that my gas bill is going up next month by 7% when we CURRENTLY HAVE A NATURAL GAS SURPLUS? It’s all about money, people.

  35. Employee, tell me the chemical make up of Zetta Flow. You cant because the drilling companies would rather let people die, one of which was their employee in Colorado in a spill, and almost killed the ER nurse that worked on him.

    1. B says:

      Can you tell me what happened with this case? I never heard about it before. How was the nurse almost killed?

      1. Americnbadass607 says:

        THe nurse from coming incontact with the chemical on the worker, and fumes from the chemical itself. One of the known chemicals in zettaflow is benzene. Zetaflow shuts down the organs of the body. It has allso been found that racoons and deer that have drank from spillage hate blowen up from it.

        The nurse was saved because a doctor got a court to force Halibertun to tell him how to fight it. He was told that if he tells of the chemical breakdown, he will be fined and do time.

  36. Kristine Miller says:

    You guys say our jobs are not safe.I agree with Brittany we all have jobs to do and yours may not be in the oilfield but it does not make your job safer or any better.We dont know our fate but I can assure you that the oil companies take every precausion into making these sites safe. Before you go pointing blame please open your hearts and be compassionate to the men and their families as you would if it we your family faced with a different trajedy.Accidents happen everyday and someone is always looking for someone else to blame.We wake up everyday the same way you do.You can not guarantee that your not going to get in your car and not hit someone or take their life and I dont see anyone commenting on how bad it can be to drive your car.We are not asking you to be in the oilfield or except it but please pray for these people as they are your fellow brothers.

    1. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

      well said

    2. Brittany says:

      Very well said.

  37. Tammie Hampe-Hall says:

    I am right in Avella, and we felt the shake and heard the explosion, right in town here. It felt like an earthquake. I just pray that everyone is okay, and that the ones they took to the hospital, will be okay….. My prayers are with them and their families…… GOD BLESS..

    1. Aaron schoenfeldt says:

      U tell them tammie ur rite

  38. Aaron schoenfeldt says:

    Do u guys know that drilling is what got the miners out of chilies mines because they callapsed so they had to use a 24inch hole to get them out so really stop and think about the people that did that for them and how about are mines in the us so stop and think befor u post

  39. ljpj says:

    Please stop the dagger throwing the only thing of importance and always should be are the Injuried and the Family which is deeply saddened by the saddness that has happened on their property they are a very kind and generous Family which would give you their very last penny to help anyone. As for the drilling like anything else it has it’s pros and cons so Please think before you speak and take A Really Good Look at the Avella area You will be surprised at what you SEE!

  40. Oilfield worker says:

    To the “gentleman”, and I use that term very loosely, we will go home. But to our rather nice homes that have friendly neighbors that actually care for others around them. Oh, and most of us in this industry are very well educated thank you. And to you Ms. Business lady, the average oilfield worker probably makes a good deal more than you do, and spends most of it in your communities and maybe with your business. I know I am paying for three households up here, one for my wife and I, one for my daughter and her fiancee, and the one I have to live in while working on the well sites. If that money means nothing to you, then tell me ma’am, why is it your economy up here was in such disrepair before the oilfield started booming?

    1. TIM says:

      When you go home take the ground water pollution with you!!

      Take some Zetta Flow Water back and pour it on your tulips!!

  41. J says:

    I really cannot believe that there is this much argument over this at this moment with what is going on! Save your bickering for after the emergency is done and over with. Just imagine if you could help with what is going on right now instead of your useless complaining. Bet a lot more would get done!

    As for some of these comments about people from the south goin home. The people making these comments to them make me sick. You make those comments and then wonder why pennsylvania gets a bad rap. Grow the hell up! im embarassed to be in the same state as you!

    I am all for drilling in PA, you say that it will drive everything away but in a few more years there wont be anything to drive away if we dont have new jobs coming into this state and farms are going under.

    I have delt with these companies on an emergency level, not near what is going on now but when i did they were more than forthcoming and helpful.

  42. J says:

    Everyone is saying how unsafe and low standards and all this but look up the statiistics. Compare the numbers of these accidents to the numbers of lets say automobile accidents, or drownings. Are you people going to push for driving to be taken away or bathing to be illegal because there are far more incidents of those two right there. If you are that concerned with it move to california! and just so you knw i was born and raised in PA.

  43. Proud Avellian! says:

    I am praying for the injured workers and their families! God heal them! I am not a fan of gas drilling but I do believe if these tragedies could be prevented, they would have been. As for the comments about the people in this town, I have to take offense. I live and work here but I am from out of state. The people in this town have huge hearts! When someone here needs help, this community comes together like no other that I have seen. This isn’t the first tragedy here, and it won’t be the last but the people of Avella will always come to the aid of another. Just so you know, the fireman of Avella all live here, their duty is not their paying job so I would like to thank all the jerks (brave guys and gals) that rush out to help all. If you really want to get to know the people in Avella, I’d suggest you leave the Uni-mart parking lot and venture a little farther out of town.

    1. Terie says:

      Thanks for your comments. My bro is one of the injured. He is one of the most safety conscious people I know. I understand the need to voice your opinions, but lets pray all three of the injured come through this.

  44. SP says:

    Considering the latest debates about Marcellus, I think this “explosion” is VERY suspicious and needs a thorough investigation.!

  45. Let's Just Never Advance says:

    Thank you to all of you who further proved my point about our town’s outdated thinking. Our town will never be more than the sad place it is as long as there are rude, prejudiced, and back word thinking people holding it back. I am sorry that those of you who are here working and contributing to our economy in our town are facing the same ignorance that many other groups of people have faced and still face in our town. It is a damn shame that many ignorant, racist, closed minded people give a town that is full of many kind, caring people a bad name. Sadly, I am often ashamed at how people in our town act as a whole. Is it any wonder why our town doesn’t grow when we act like this? Combine that with resistance to an industry that is thriving and you know what you get? A dying town! I wonder if Stefkovich Funeral Home is prepared to put our whole town in a grave? Keep up the attitudes we have & his business will be the only one left. (And that is not a slam on him, good for him for being successful in a stale little village). Way to take a tragedy and make it even more sad by showing our true colors, Avella. My heart is saddened and sickened by the disgusting display on here.

    1. Brittany says:

      I think I can speak for my whole family when I say that I am truly happy to know that there are definitely those who won’t quickly throw stones without basis.

  46. tracy says:


  47. Let's Just Never Advance says:

    By the way in my earlier post when I said “It’s a shame we cannot find a way to obtain energy in a way that is 100% safe, I wasn’t stating that we should not engage in drilling. Did the respondant read my entire post? I think it is a sad thing that there are ever accidents of any type, but that doesn’t mean I think we should all live in bubbles. My point was that many people’s initial response was to have an attitude that we shouldn’t have gas drilling because it is dangerous and I was simply pointing out that we could not have the standard of living and the energy resources we do without having some risks.

  48. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

    For all the people Saying you don’t want the drilling companies here and don’t want our Business Please put your Business Name on Here and watch how fast it goes under. Then you will be begging for Us and our money. So before you write rude ignorant comments at least Own up to them and put your Real Name and to say you dont want our business include the location and name of it to. Otherwise be nice your only saying this stuff because you are hiding behind a fake name. Grow Up

    1. Andy says:

      My hope, Lisa, is that we get the whole country completely blanketed with nice big gas wells..that will make us all rich and solve all of our problems..thanks for your comments..may Jesus bless you.

  49. Andy says:

    I wonder if anyone is going to reimburse the municipalities for the cost of fire and emergency helicopter services? Or do local taxpayers have to clean up the mistakes of the industry? It doesn’t seem right..or fair.

    1. TIM says:

      You got it right Andy!!

      Maybe Tim Solobay can get Consol to pay… since they took him to the Super Bowl and ALL!

      Not only do we have to pay the same price as everyone else for the natural gas, but we as tax payers also have to pay for the aftermath.

      It costs at least $1000 just to pull 1 single fire truck out of the garage on a sunny day for a parade!! There were 60-70 units rolled out their last night costing the tax payers (who pay for volunteer fire services in one way or another) probably hundreds of thousands of dollars…

      I’d suggest the Energy Executives stay home from next years superbowl… oh wait, an Energy Company paid $14,000,000 to name the stadium in Indy… They will all be going!

      1. adam kauffman says:

        tim you couldnt be farther from the truth. your going to complain about the fire trucks being brought to the location to help save peoples lives, do u understand the meaning of an accident. you must not, would you have the same feelings if a hospital blew up, or a factory that makes cars blew up. yea sure they energy companies put alot of money out for some unnessacry things. what i cant seem to understand why is everyone attacking the hard working men and women in the oil field. the ones working on the rigs everyday and the ones who were hurt in last nights fire. have you no respect for anything we do. I tell you what if u hate the oil field so much does us a favor, call your gas company and turn you gas off, than call the electric comapany and shut that off. and the next time u decide to take your 2 3/4 trucks for a drive, drain all the gas/diesel out first than try and see how far you can make it. im gonna guess that you dont get very far, so i hope that you know how to ride a bike, but wait the oil field supplies the fuel to run the factorys that produce everything you use on a daily bases, so please sell your house and stop using anything that involes energy made by the oil field and take yourself completley off the grid, than and only than should you runn your mouth about what goes on in the oilfield.

      2. south hills fire fighter says:

        uh dont think that all people pay for volunteer services in one way or another. here in brentwood pa. councils does not alot any cash to the vol fire company. they pay their own way through fund drives and fundraisers but get just under three quarters back from the fund drive.

  50. TIM! says:

    Before Gas gets to be $5/gallon and you and your husband cant afford to fill the CAVALIER to get back to TEXAS…. hurry up and get on down I79!!

    A least get into WEST VIRGINIA… a STATE THAT HAS BEEN RAPPED of its energy resources by outsiders for the past 200 years! What is taking place here now, is no different that what took place there!!

    1. adam kauffman says:

      look man how are you going to say that WV as been rapped by its resources for 200yrs by outsides. you lack any kind of intellect and need to stay out of the conversation. WV has been mined by hard working men and women who were born and raised in WV,PA, and Oh. so when u make a comment like that. why dont u go find a 3rd or 4th generation coal miner from WV and tell hime that, I’m willing to bet that you end up with some bodily harm done. please stop yourself of the embarassment and keep the ignorant comments to yourself, these guys need our prayers.

      1. Concerned A says:

        Look who’s calling who an intellect. The word is raped, not rapped.

    2. Amy says:

      Kathy- They stopped being guests when they started paying PA taxes. I hope you don’t represent most of PA.

      Tim- what is rapped?

      To everyone that likes to scream at strangers without knowing them- your anger and ignorance will reward you with a life of misery.

  51. Mike says:

    May the Buddha blow his holy breath upon these souls and bind them to their form. These workers are REAL american heroes fighting everyday, through war and peace to give our nation the resources it needs to stay free. That said, it just happens way too much with chesapeake. These leases need to be given to safer companies that accept nothing less than zero accidents.

  52. Johnnie P says:

    Also google or learn about H2S! H2S is a killer!

  53. mother nature says:

    The worst thing about all this discussion and destruction is that nothing will be done about it. Just as nothing was done about the gas well explosion in Harmar Township last summer which killed two people. Huntley and Huntley, the drillers responsible for that one, got a virtual slap on the wrist for safety violations. PA is not a safe state anymore, and any existing laws which could protect or prevent these disasters are considered null and void – the Oil and Gas Act overrides all other laws!!! Who came up with that one, and why has that faulty reasoning not been corrected? The gas driller lobby steps up to pay for and defend their kind at all legal proceedings, there is a judge sitting on a high court whose husband does that for a living. She rules on these cases – talk about conflict of interest!!

  54. Lisa Davis Kauffman says:

    I read most of the Comments here and Most Are Concerned about MONEY wow is this Area so Upset because you Are Not getting a Piece of the Cake. Trust Me Not All the Drillers are From Texas and Before you assume get your facts. The Issue shou…ld be how to make it safer for the Workers and the Community Period. We live in Pa and well as hundreds of Other families who make their living off the Drilling companies. We pay our taxes just like you, Support the local businesses and why should we be taxed more than anyone else who works here. You want to tax the drill companies so much and run them out of Pa. Maybe you people should look at others States these days they are declaring Bankruptcy. The Drill Companies have gave business to businesses going Under, Gave Jobs to people out of work, the farmers who risk losing their farms now are earning money. Maybe because you complain of all the bad you should look at all the good. As for the Girl who Signed away her mineral Rights that is your Own dumb decision why blame someone else. And as far as the fire companies training is needed just like we all got training in hazmat. We never got any reward for that why should we because its a million dollar drill rig. A chemical Spill from some of the factory around here is Far worse, why not worry more about them blowing up. Do you have any idea what would happen if One did. Why don’t you Research those Accidents and hold the factories and plants Accountable As Well. Why Don’t We hold the Hospitals Accountable for there Accidents as Well and Every Other Job Around. If you Want to be fair then why not be Fair. Because its not about being Safe its about the Money

    1. adam kauffman says:

      you tell them hunny im proud to be an OILFIELD WORKER and i will continue working the rigs untill i retire,

      1. Jessica Petti says:

        Shut up.. no one cares what you oil loving kauffmans think. Get a real job.

    2. LISA HATES PA says:

      Shove it LISA! Get out of this state… You want nothing more than to sh!t all over it and to get paid for doing it.

  55. Nikki Dinch says:

    I support all the drillers.I just pray they all stay safe. They work to supprt their families just like anyone else. Accidents happen. It could have been much worse than it was in Avella. Thankfully God was watching over our little town and didnt let it get that bad. No matter where you work at accidents happen. Without the oil/gas drillers you wouldnt be able to do more than half of the things you do on a daily basis. so before you continue to bash on these workers think about how much you actually need them. Lets just pray they all stay safe no matter what state they work in. All of the men and women in this industry along with their families are in my prayers.

  56. ttlb says:

    Those little old gas wells on that hill aren’t going to do Avella in it’s the Kids that are aloud to set fires under the main gas line that runs under the entire town that you need to worry about. And yes 99% of the people in this town are mean I have lived here all my life , the gas wells are doing this town some good for the first time in a long time. I think you all need to take a long look at what this town was and what it is now ,empty. We need the those wells.

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