Gas leak forces the evacuation of Salem homes

SALEM – Some residents in the area of Franklin and South Union avenues were evacuated from their homes for a short time Tuesday after Columbia Gas reported a gas leak in the flammable range in a home.

City firefighters were called at 11:14 a.m. Tuesday to the 900 block of Franklin at the request of Columbia Gas after the higher than normal gas level was detected in a home at the corner of Franklin and Union.

Capt. Jeff Olinger said they shut down the streets and evacuated residents in a dozen homes and told them to come back in a little over an hour. During that time, Columbia Gas shut off gas to the residence and firefighters set up a fan to remove the gas from the house. The area around the house was monitored and deemed safe.

Columbia Gas and firefighters also walked through the house to deem the house safe. The report said the gas won’t be turned back on until service to the house has been repaired.

Police were on the scene for traffic control, but were also advised about an unrelated situation at the residence dealing with living conditions, Olinger said. Firefighters were on the scene for more than an hour.