A Questar Gas employee has been charged with causing a "three-story-tall jet of burning natural gas" that charred an apartment building last October.

On Oct. 10, the man was checking a gas leak outside an apartment at 364 E. Woodlake Cove (4055 South) but knew the pipe was too large to fix with the tools he had on him, according to charges filed Tuesday in 3rd District Court.

The man, 24, punctured the line, called Questar dispatch and donned fire-resistant coveralls but did not call 911, according to a probable cause statement from police.

The man began digging out the line when he caused a second puncture with a shovel. "Gas escaped a second breach and ignited spectacularly," according to court documents.

The flames destroyed a parked car and caused heavy damage to the building, where people were inside seven of the 12 apartments.

The man faces charges of causing a catastrophe and reckless burning, both class A misdemeanors.