Crews aerate site of gas leak from Monday in Westminster

October 06, 2004|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Firefighters and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews returned yesterday to the scene of a gas leak in a Westminster neighborhood that affected about 40 homes Monday.

The problem began about 10:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Hobbits Lane, an area of new homes in the Stoneridge Overlook development, said Jeff Alexander, assistant chief of Westminster Fire Engine & Hose Company No. 1.

A leak in a 2-inch plastic gas main underground was found and repaired by 3:50 p.m. Monday, said Jamie Krumpler, a BGE spokeswoman. Crews remained at the scene until about 7 p.m.

Yesterday morning, a routine follow-up detected gas in the air above the main that had been repaired, but was determined to be residual gas from the repair rather than a new leak, said Tom Poe, a BGE spokesman. Crews were aerating the area into the evening.

The leak was caused by heat from an electric cable to a street light run beside the PVC pipe, Poe said. Three homes at the site of the leak were evacuated Monday, and electric service to about 40 homes was shut off as a precaution. There was no shutoff of service or homes evacuated yesterday, Poe said.

At BGE's request, firefighters returned yesterday for about 40 minutes to take readings of gas in some homes, said Alexander.

On Monday, firefighters from Westminster, Reese, Pleasant Valley, New Windsor and Union Bridge responded to the area, and some remained for several hours as gas seeped outdoors from storm drains and inside from sump pumps into some residents' basements, he said.

Steel manhole covers were removed temporarily and a breeze helped to aerate the area, Alexander said, but this also spread the smell of gas in the neighborhood.

No gas was detected yesterday from storm drains.

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