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Firefighters, National Grid working to restore gas service on Watertown’s north side; 85 houses affected


Watertown city firefighters and National Grid employees on Saturday evening were working their way through a neighborhood on the north side of the city to reignite service at 85 houses affected by a gas leak caused by the flooding of a regulatory station off Lansing Street.

About 5:15 p.m., the regulatory station flooded, causing a gas leak and loss in pressure, according to National Grid spokesman Patrick D. Stella.

The station was pumped out and pressure was restored by 7 p.m., Mr. Stella said.

Meters at houses from Hoard Street to the north down to Francis Street to the south, Mill Street to the west and Cleveland Street to the east were turned off, according to Watertown City Fire Battalion Chief Timothy P. “Tucker” Wiley.

“There was some type of a natural gas over-pressurization,” Chief Wiley said. “They had more pressure than they needed.”

Residents reported natural gas smells and humming meters Saturday afternoon, Chief Wiley said.

Some residents were evacuated in the area where the problem was first reported, on Lansing Street from Stuart Street to the north to Francis Street to the south, though no injuries were reported, Battalion Chief Wiley said.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes after firefighters opened windows and checked the houses for traces of gas.

Chief Wiley said the department was ordered by National Grid to shut down the gas meters at homes in the larger section of the neighborhood.

Papa Tino’s pizzeria shut down its ovens about 6 p.m. as a precaution, though the restaurant was still waiting for more information from National Grid at the time, according to employee Joseph R. Nunez.

National Grid workers and city firefighters planned to visit 115 houses, including the 85 houses where service was shut off, to make sure that there were no other problems, Mr. Stella said.

He said the workers would knock on doors until 11 p.m. and continue visiting houses where they found lights on until as many affected residents were notified as possible.

National Grid workers were expected to go back through the neighborhood this morning, Mr. Stella said.

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