NORWALK The threat of a gas explosion closed a Norwalk street and forced the evacuation of a building Friday afternoon, Norwalk Fire Deputy Chief Edward Prescott said. A contractor working at 76 Cedar St. cut through an old gas line that was not supposed to be in service. It was, and gas flowed into the building at about 5 p.m.
Firefighters entering the basement encountered the contractor holding his hand over the pipe to slow the flow of gas, according to Prescott. Captain Scott Ready closed Cedar Street and had the building evacuated. The building has commercial store fronts on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors. The 10 occupants in the building at the time were evacuated and led to a safe area by firefighters.
At the time, other firefighters were involved in clearing a fiery accident on the Merritt Parkway.
Firefighters had to plug the leak after the street valve would not fully close. Yankee Gas crews then put in a new shutoff to stop the flow completely. The incident was under control by 6:15 p.m.
Contractors have been replacing the gas lines in the street.
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