Crew strikes gas line in Eldersburg, forcing evacuation of 10 homes

March 27, 2001

A plumbing crew digging a trench struck a feeder gas line on Glasgow Court in Eldersburg yesterday morning, starting a fire outside the line and causing firefighters to evacuate 10 homes, officials said.

The accident occurred shortly before 10:30 a.m. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Brenda Pettigrew said gas to the block was turned off by 11:55 a.m.

"A spark from the trench winch ignited the gas vapors, causing the fire," said Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department Chief Bobby Ray Chesney. "But that's good because you know the gas is dissipating instead of going somewhere else you can't see."

Gas was shut off to 18 homes but the leak was repaired, and service restored, by 7 p.m., a spokeswoman said.

Chesney said the damaged line was a feeder, not the main gas line. Once the gas was shut off, firefighters put out the fire and remained on the scene until almost noon as a precaution, he said.

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