A vehicle struck a natural gas pipeline near St. Joseph Baptist Church Friday evening. According to Franklin Fire Department spokesman Jeff Hildreth the department responded with 16 fire fighters and four units, finding a 1996 Camaro owned by Savoid Howard of Sixth Street, Franklin, in flames. Howard reportedly told fire fighters that he pulled into a vacant lot for church services and accidentally struck a natural gas riser assembly, breaking the feeder line off underground. Hildreth said Howard was able to escape the vehicle without injury. The gas apparently ignited from the vehicle’s hot exhaust. CenterPoint Energy was contacted for assistance, and the area cordoned off for safety reasons. Hildreth said that since the vehicle was straddled over the broken pipe it was impossible to quickly and safely extinguish the fire. CenterPoint responders dug up the main gas line on either side of the fire and installed shut off valves. The gas was shut off by 1:06 a.m. and the scene cleared at 2:06 a.m. No injuries were reported, and no interruption of gas service to residents occurred. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.