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Gas Leak Forces Evacuations


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By Kevin O’Rourke

About forty people were forced to evacuate their homes for about an hour Monday night, because of a natural gas leak.

Pete Piringer, public information officer for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service said that MCFRS crews were called to the 19500 block of Gunners Branch Road to deal with a Hazardous Materials incident after a large tree branch fell onto a commercial gas meter causing a high pressure natural gas leak at about 7:35 pm Monday night.

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Piringer reported via Twitter that there was no fire and no injuries to residents or firefighters.

MCFRS crews evacuated residents of three adjacent buildings in the Middlebrook Commons Condominiums. According to MCPRS, Washington Gas Co.shut off the gas line and firefighters secured the scene. All evacuated residents were able to return to their homes at about 8:30 pm.

Fire crews worked from both the residential side on Gunner Branch Road, as well as from Frederick Road. The gas leak was between the condominiums and Midas of Germantown at 19550B Frederick Road, and a number pieces of fire apparatus were parked along Route 355 in front of Gerber Collision and Glass.

MCFRS units from Germantown, Clarksburg and Gaithersburg, as well as the unit from the National Institute for Standards & Technology responded to the incident.

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