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Cannery Village evacuated Feb. 6 after gas leak

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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A block of homes in Cannery Village was evacuated when a gas leak was reported Feb. 6.

Milton Fire Department Chief JR Clark said his company responded to the development twice Feb. 6 for two reports of gas leaks. A leak was reported in the 200 block of Sundance Lane, and after high gas levels were detected in the basements of four homes, residences from Sundance Lane to Carlton Drive were evacuated, Clark said.

As Poore's Propane Gas Service Inc. crews worked to correct the leak, propane services for the entire development were temporarily shut down.

"The whole complex of Cannery Village was shut off so they could repair this line," Clark said.

Michael Schaffer, a supervisor at Poore's, said the company responded to the first call around 1 p.m., found a minor leak on a valve and planned to fix the problem Feb. 8. When a second call came in about 7:30 p.m., crews dug open the area around the gas line and found a larger leak that was a result of a connection problem 4 to 5 feet away from the valve.

Schaffer said the leak was repaired within hours. About a dozen families were instructed to leave their homes while work was underway.

He said everyone was back in their homes Feb. 7, except for one family who is still staying in a hotel as an extra precaution until the basement is completely aired out.

"We got there on site and fixed it quickly," Schaffer said. "The fire department was there to cover anything that might happen. It was a couple-hour ordeal, and after it was over, it was back to business as normal."

Clark said the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control also took readings on Feb. 7. Explosive-proof fans were used to safely force gas out of the affected basements.

"Everything is fine now," Clark said Feb. 8. "It was pretty sticky there for a while. One spark and it could have been very dangerous."

One Poore's employee was taken to Beebe Healthcare Feb. 6 for reported chest pains, Clark said. Schaffer said that employee was discharged from the hospital the same day. No other injuries have been reported, Clark and Schaffer said.



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Original Publication Date: February 9, 2016



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