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A close call: gas leaks in Plainville

Posted by Martin Finucane April 10, 2007 04:29 PM

PLAINVILLE

Homes were evacuated and part of a major road was shut down today after a gas line became over-pressurized and began to flood homes with gas, the town's fire chief said.

The leak caused a basement fire, but no injuries or property damage were reported, said Fire Chief Ted Joubert.

The incident began when firefighters responded to a call about a hissing stove at 10 East Bacon Street at 11:43 a.m.

Firefighters found a “relatively strong concentration” of gas at the residence, Joubert said. Shortly thereafter, firefighters found a fire in the basement but were able to extinguish it before it caused significant damage.

Joubert said the department received approximately eight to 11 more calls for gas leaks and firefighters found gas levels “suitable to conditions for explosions.” Electricity was shut off to the area for a time to prevent an electrical spark from igniting gas.

Plainville relied on assistance from neighboring communities to respond to the high number of calls, Joubert said.

Joubert said a malfunctioning gas systems device was to blame for the over-pressurization.

This is the second time in months that a gas leak has threatened downtown Plainville. In January, a truck crashed into Foxboro Savings and Loan at 129 South St., causing a major leak that Joubert said could have led to an explosion.

By midafternoon, the road was reopened and residents were returning to their homes.

“I’d like to think that we caught a break again,” Joubert said.

-- Calvin Hennick

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