Pipeline memories: 'It was pretty scary!'

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 4, 2009 

It was 5 p.m. - time for me to punch out at Grizzly Industrial on Valencia Street (where I still work). We had really just begun to smell gas, but had no idea where the source of the spill was, or how large it was.

As I opened the door to go out, we were rocked by a huge explosion, and saw this mushrooming fireball heading down the hill towards us!

We backed into the building, figuring that it would be safer inside. Windows and light fixtures broke, walls rocked - it was pretty scary!

We then exited through the showroom and watched a solid wall of fire and smoke rising from the creek - wow!

A few of my co-workers walked with me up to the Moles Funeral Home, where they were kind enough to let us use their phone (to get in touch with our families).

As I expected, no one was at home when I called - as my partner and dog had been trying to pick me up after work.

I headed down Lakeway - towards home. As I neared Cost Cutter, I spotted our car! Oh, the joy on all three of our faces!

My partner had been on Iowa Street, barred from entering Valencia by the police. He saw the explosion and fireball from the other side of the creek - and had honestly thought that all of us at Grizzly had perished!

Hence our joy and gratitude at finding ourselves reunited.

There are good aspects to even the most horrendous events!

Reach DEAN KAHN at dean.kahn@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2291.

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