Neighborhood Evacuated After Gas Leak in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A neighborhood in Scranton had to be evacuated after someone smelled natural gas.

That neighbor called 911 around 11 a.m. Utility crews, firefighters, and police showed up and got people to safety while they looked for the potentially dangerous problem.

A worker with UGI, the gas company, drilled holes through the sidewalk on the 800 block of Prospect Avenue while firefighters went door to door getting residents to safety. The power was cut off to the block while the utility company tried to pinpoint the source of the leak.

"I wasn't even dressed or nothing. I had to hurry up and get dressed. You could smell the gas leak," said neighbor Maryann Wally.

Wally and about a dozen of her neighbors were waiting out the emergency in Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which served as an emergency shelter.

"We were downstairs in the basement of the church. Then the fireman came down and said you have to go over to Goodwill," Wally explained.

Meanwhile, crews on the scene were in a rush to find the leak and stop it before anything went wrong.

"Something could go wrong, so for now, we're going to keep everyone out of the area," said Asst. Chief Jeff White, Scranton Fire Department.

The utility company brought in heavy equipment to rip up the sidewalk and street. Crews eventually found the trouble spot and fixed the leak.

As the minutes turned into hours, Tony Hulsey worried about his feline friends he left behind.

"So far nobody's been hurt. I hope nothing happens to my cats though, they're my life," Hulsey said.

Once the power was restored and the block made safe again, Hulsey was allowed to go back home to his cats who were glad to see him.

The whole thing lasted about four hours, and now, things are back to normal.


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