Middletown area evacuated for gas leak involving fire

Middletown first responders evacuated more than two dozen houses in the 900 block of Lafayette Avenue between Verity Parkway and Baltimore street Wednesday morning.

Sally Thelen, a Duke Energy spokeswoman said that "the leak was caused by someone working on the curbs in the area, and their piece of cutting equipment came into contact with the Duke Energy gas line, causing fire."

Thelen said it will take some time for investigators to do a full report and establish who will be responsible for the cost of repair.

"In typical situations, we would bill whoever damages our facilities, however in this case, that would be premature to say until a report is completed," she said.

City spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan said the incident was reported at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of Lafayette Avenue. First responders evacuated nearby homes as a precaution as firefighters assessed the fire.

The gas line was shut off and the the fire was put out about 11:30 a.m. Firefighters and Duke Energy workers gave the "all clear" for residents to return to their homes.

Jessica Stamey, who lives in the area, said she was woke up and saw messages on social media about the incident. She came outside and was taken to the bus for evacuation. She said crews have been working on streets for the past two weeks as part of city’s curb, gutter and sidewalk program.


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