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Overnight gas fire will close 7th Street bridge for 'several months' Mayor Kate Gallego says

The Phoenix Fire Department is still investigating the cause and origin of the ruptured gas line fire.

PHOENIX — Firefighters were called to the scene of a raging gas fire early Sunday morning and were met with giant flames, the Phoenix Fire Department said.

Crews were dispatched to the scene near the 7th Street bridge just south of University to reports of flames and smoke coming from under the street, the department said.

The firefighters were met with "20 and 30-foot flames that were fed by a 10-inch main gas line that somehow ruptured," the department said. 

Crews protected nearby buildings and exposures from the fire with hose lines. Southwest Gas was called to the scene shortly after and the main gas line was secured, stopping the fire.

The department has determined there were no injuries on the scene and will begin an investigation into the cause and origin of the fire.

During an afternoon press conference, Mayor Kate Gallego said the fire department and Southwest Gas are working together to investigate the circumstances of the fire. 

“The next weeks and months won't be easy, but we will get through it,” said Gallego. 

“The City of Phoenix will do everything in its power to improve traffic flow and transit options, especially for those who live and work south of the River. I particularly want to thank Phoenix Fire for their swift response and handling of this incident. I appreciate work on the part of the Street Transportation, Parks and Public Transit departments for what they've done so far and all the work that's yet to come.”  

At this time, officials do not have information that would assume suspicious activity led to the gas leak. Six commercial businesses with Southwest Gas were affected by the leak.

The bridge is currently closed to the public and officials recommend that drivers, bikers or hikers stay out of the area as they work the area further. Mayor Gallego said that the bridge was damaged by the fire and will likely take months to fix entirely. 

Some suggested detours to avoid 7th Street are: 16th Street or 24th Street if you're headed east and 7th Avenue or 19th Avenue if you're headed west. Officials said they do not recommend Central Avenue due to the Light Rail extension. 

Residents with questions can contact the City of Phoenix at 602-262-3111.

This is a developing story. Tune into 12 News for the latest details.

Credit: Phoenix Fire Department