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Port Acres neighborhood rebuilding - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Port Acres neighborhood rebuilding

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A Port Acres neighborhood rocked by a pipeline explosion is rebuilding. 

In July, a pipeline fire along West Port Arthur road started after a lightning bolt struck the pipe according to Chevron Officials who own the pipeline. 

It was an ethylene pipeline in Port Acres. 

People who live nearby were evacuated. No one was injured and the fire eventually burned out the same night. 

On Sunday there was still evidence that the fire became hot enough to cause extensive damage to nearby homes and businesses. 

But much of the damage was cleaned up, fixed, or replaced. 

The fire stretched as high as a football field into the sky. Authorities say it was all due to a lightning strike that hit an ethylene pipeline. 

The next day, July 22nd, it was clear why people who live a long West Port Arthur road were told to leave their homes. Everything from mailboxes, to trash cans, even a car was melted. 

A month after the fire, it's still fresh in the mind of Rodney Leblanc who lives off West Port Arthur Road on Canal Street. 

"Me and my wife were sitting on the porch when we saw the bolt. I thought, that was awfully close," Leblanc said. 

He considers himself lucky because his home wasn't damaged by the fire. 

"I was kind of nervous, let's put it that way," Leblanc said. 

His neighbors weren't so lucky. In July the siding on these apartments were melted and heat blew out the windows. The young lady who lived there has since moved out. Further down Canal Street, a home's siding was completely warped. 

"My neighbor and the other fellow got it the worst," Leblanc said referencing the home. 

The homeowner was away Sunday but repairs were evident. 

Other neighbors tell 12 News HD, Chevron has reimbursed neighbors for damage done by the fire. 

While people finish rebuilding, Leblanc says the area is starting to look peaceful again as it once did before the pipeline fire. 

"Trees are starting to get their leaves back and the grass is starting to grow back. It's been pretty good," Leblanc said. 

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