Gas leak forces evacuation

PETERBOROUGH — A leaking propane line forced a brief evacuation of an apartment building on Prescott Hill Road on Tuesday night.

Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker said a resident called in an alarm at 10:31 p.m. after smelling propane. “We were met by a woman who is a firefighter in a neighboring community,” Walker said on Wednesday. “We went out back and we found propane bubbling up from the ground.” The leak was in a pipe leading from one of the two tanks that supply propane for heating and hot water in the building.

Walker said firefighters noticed strong odors both outside and in the building. They set off the building’s fire alarm and immediately shut down the propane line into the building. Residents evacuated the building and were kept outside for less than half an hour, Walker said, while firefighters went through the building with meters to verify that there was no propane inside. “Once we determined it was safe, they were let back inside,” Walker said.

Walker said the gas supplier for the building came to install a temporary propane tank and to determine what had caused the leak.

— by Dave Anderson

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