Warren City police and fire personnel, assisted by personnel from a number of other police agencies, evacuated residents from several blocks in the area of Park Avenue and Melvina Street late Tuesday afternoon as the result of a high-pressure natural gas leak.
The leak was started when a car crashed into the gas line shortly before 5 p.m.
Emergency personnel went door to door in the neighborhood telling residents to leave and collect in the Warren Shurfine parking lot on Pennsylvania Avenue E. That way officials could keep track of the evacuation to make sure they had removed everyone from potential danger.
Times Observer photo by Rob Andersen
Gas line sheared
A woman was taken into custody by Warren City Police late Tuesday afternoon after the car she was driving left the roadway on Park Avenue near Malvina Street, and sheared a high-pressure National Fuel natural gas line. City firefighters, in the background, sprayed water on the car and gas line to prevent a spark that could trigger an explosion.
According to Warren Fire Department Captain Chris Danielson, approximately 65 people were evacuated from Park Avenue and Malvina, North and Hazeltine streets.
Meanwhile, city firefighters deployed a misting hose from the nearest hydrant to prevent errant sparks from igniting the escaping gas.
According to City Police Chief Raymond Zydonik, a female, who operated the car involved in the accident, was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There were no injuries reported as the result of the crash or the resulting natural gas leak, although a heavy smell of natural gas hung over the neighborhood.
A crew from National Fuel Gas closed off the gas line.
The Covenant United Methodist Church on Pennsylvania Avenue was opened to accept any residents that required shelter before being allowed to return to their homes.
A tow truck was called in shortly before 6 p.m. to remove the vehicle.
At 6:18 p.m. a call went out to allow residents back into their homes.