Explosive situation diffused on North Ridge

Staff Report

Seven homes were evacuated Monday morning due to a natural gas leak on North Ridge Road.

Loose fittings on a new hot water tank caused a house on Amherst’s east side to fill with gas just after 7 a.m. Fire chief Jim Wilhelm said readings showed the lower explosive limit had been passed about 10 feet outside the home.

Firefighters closed North Ridge around the Dewey Road intersection. Neighbors to either side, three across the street, and one on nearby Weaver Drive were told to leave for their own safety.

“We were concerned enough that we had the Amherst electric department respond out there and cut the electric up on the pole,” Wilhelm said.

Columbia Gas workers shut off the gas main. Fire crews used high-powered blowers to clear built-up gas from the home.

It took about an hour to diffuse the threat, according to Wilhelm.

Staff Report