Gas leak reported in Phoenix neighborhood


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Jason Volentine

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 5:32 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 6:37 AM

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PHOENIX -- A north Phoenix neighborhood was shut down Thursday afternoon after several residents reported smelling natural gas.

Authorities from Southwest Gas and the Phoenix Fire Department arrived at the scene near Happy Valley Road and Interstate 17 and determined that there was a gas leak in the area.

As a result, a cul-de-sac was closed while Southwest Gas crews worked to locate the problem.

Those crews worked late Thursday night digging up the street while trying to locate the leak.

Nine homes were evacuated.

"There's not a risk of explosion at the level that was found in the home here," said Ann Seiden with Southwest Gas.

People who live in the area said they have been smelling gas intermittently for a month.

One resident took video showing gas bubbling up through cracks in a wet street. She said her calls to Southwest Gas were dismissed because she said the gas was odorless.

"It's really scary," said Krissy Herz. "I've called the gas company a couple times over this and they kind of laughed at me because they said that if you can't smell it there should be nothing wrong." 

Seiden said Thursday was the first time Southwest Gas heard about a natural gas problem in the neighborhood.

"If a homeowner has put in a phone call that they smell gas or they think they smell gas we will respond every single time. Safety is our number one priority and we will investigate every single one of those calls," said Seiden.

Residents were allowed back in their homes Thursday night but Souhtwest Gas said it could take a couple of days for the repairs to be completed.