A picture of the fire, taken by local Jason Setran before he evacuated the area. Photo by Jason Setran, used with permission.
UPDATED 5:50 P.M.: News outlets on the scene, including reporters for WLOS and the Asheville Citizen-Times, are reporting that the fire is out.
UPDATED 5:38 P.M.: The Asheville Fire Department reports via Twitter that they have successfully turned off the gas fueling the fire.
A major fire from a gas line rupture hit the Sandhill Road area, erupting around 4 p.m. today. Emergency response crews have blocked off the area, and reports from both news outlets and social media tell of a huge fireball and a shockwave that shook nearby buildings. The Asheville Fire Department has warned residents to avoid the area, and is working to evacuate anyone remaining.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that locals saw 200 ft.-high flames and felt the heat from far away.
According to WLOS reporters, evacuees are going to Enka Baptist Church, and over 1,000 power outages are reported.