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8 Frankfort Square homes evacuated after severed gas line

A severed gas line on Wintergreen Drive in Frankfort Square Thursday evening caused the evacuation of eight homes.

Frankfort Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Tim Campbell said the gas line was severed by workers who were planting parkway trees for the Frankfort Township program to replace ash trees destroyed last year by the Emerald ash borer.

Campbell said although there was no risk of an explosion because of the ruptured line, the homes were evacuated as a “precautionary measure” because of the potential risk of igniting the gas.

That was the main concern of Marty and Sandy Otway whose home at the corner of Pepperwood Court and Wintergreen Drive was closest to the severed line. They said as soon as it happened they could smell gas from inside their home.

“I went outside and I could hear it hissing,” Marty Otway said.

Their first call was to NICOR to report the leak. Otway said they were told it would be about an hour before NICOR workers would arrive.

“What if someone drives by and throws a lit cigarette out the window,” he said.

The Otways called 9-1-1 next and the Frankfort Fire Protection District arrived at the scene to evacuate homes and cordon off the area on Pepperwood Court.

Campbell said he received the call about 6:42 p.m. His communication with NICOR also indicated a one-hour wait, he said, but the workers showed up in about 30 minutes.

The leak was repaired and residents returned to their homes by 8 p.m.



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