"I was getting ready to get some stuff out on the porch when I heard this boom, like something blew up."
It may have sounded like an explosion to Nick Campbell, but it was really a natural gas leak.
"It was pretty bad," he says. "Everybody had run away from the scene where the gas had blew up, and ran across the field. I noticed some guys bent over like they got a big puff of gas."
Firefighters say it happened after 11:00 AM at an underground storage facility near Hopkins County Central High School, forcing students home early, and some residents out of their homes. U.S. 41 and nearby train tracks were also blocked off.
"We've checked the immediate homes here for possible ignition sources," says Asst. Chief Blake Vaughn of the South Hopkins Fire Dept. "Most are electric. We disabled breakers, and things like that, as far as water heaters go, microwaves, things that may go on automatically."
"I was kind of worried about it when I thought, maybe, you know, it might catch fire, and it be a big fire bomb over there, and everybody getting evacuated," says Campbell.
Crews spent the afternoon capping the leak. They worried about it getting worse, but Campbell says he had few concerns.
"I'm not concerned about it at all," he says. "I used to work in the oil fields, so I know the extent of things with natural gas and stuff."
Hopkins County school officials say as a precaution they cancelled all after school activities.