Arkansas State Oil and Gas Commission leaders are scratching their heads right now. They're trying to figure out why natural gas started flowing from abandoned water well in Quitman.

An emergency overnight prompted the evacuations of three homes. Residents we talked to off camera say they were awakened in the middle of the night, around 3:30 Monday morning. Officials asking them to leave their homes after gas pressure in the well forced it to spew out water.

It almost looked like a crime scene Monday, with caution tape surrounding this abandoned Quitman home.

But a look in the back revealed no crime here but a mystery nonetheless.

"I don't think anyone knows where it's really coming from," Fire Chief Tim Pike said.

Pike arrived on scene around 4 a.m. Monday, after a well on the property under investigation since February for leaking natural gas, began spewing water on its own.

"The gas pressure began to force the water out as you see it now. Not knowing what the danger was at the time, we felt it prudent to evacuate the parties north and south of the well," Oil and Gas Commission Director Lawrence Bengal said.

Bengal says authorities evacuated three homes for about four hours. And while it was safe to return, "At this point, we do not have a pinpoint for the source of the natural gas," Bengal said.

Bengal says they've ruled out any connection with Southwestern Energy's production wells for natural gas, just a quarter mile away from here.

"We've walked with Southwestern Energy looking at the wells, doing various tests with those wells," Bengal said.

They're also looking into previous gas reports from local water well drillers.

Hauled-in equipment Monday hooked up to the well to remove existing gas and water inside. Pike feels it's all under control.

"I have no concerns at this point. I mean I've been here off and on all day, and they're keeping everything monitored real well," Pike said.

Bengal adds everything is under control as well. In fact he gave us a call late Monday night, saying the well is secure.

He says the gas collected in that equipment we showed in the story will be safely vented into the atmosphere. But crews will return Tuesday to monitor area and check in with residents.

The first report of natural gas flowing from this well came on February 18.