Massive tree limb falls and sparks fire

Neighbors look at damage from fallen tree

MASON CITY, Iowa – A fallen tree limb caused major issues in a Mason City neighborhood on Saturday night.

Crews with the Mason City Fire Department and Alliant Energy responded to a call of a large tree branch falling off of a tree and landing on a power line. Authorities say the incident happened just after 7:00 p.m. and that it was nothing short of a domino effect.

When the branch snapped off of the tree, it landed on a power line, causing the wires to break and fall to the ground. Just beneath the surface of where the electrical line landed was an underground gas line. The downed line made a hole in the ground and eventually led to a small leak in the gas line. This leak mixed with a live electrical wire led to a very small, contained fire.

It happened in the 100 block of north Madison Ave. and 1st St. northeast in Mason City. No one was injured in the incident however, we are told four Alliant Energy customers lost their gas supply, and many of the homes on the block were without power until early Sunday morning.

Ryan Stensland, a spokesperson for Alliant Energy tells us that these outages are simply seen as small bumps in the road in what could have been a very dangerous situation.

“We just appreciate our customers being safe and contacting local authorities, instead of taking the situation into their own hands,” he says. While only one home needed to be evacuated, Stensland says whenever you are dealing with a live gas line, things can always get worse quicker than they can get better.

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