Photos: Whitman Fire Responds to Gas Leak

Whitman Fire Department
Timothy J. Grenno, Fire Chief
56 Temple St.
Whitman, MA 02382

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Whitman Fire Responds to Gas Leak

WHITMAN – Chief Timothy J. Grenno reports that the Whitman Fire Rescue Department responded to a gas leak this morning that resulted in the evacuation of several homes.

At approximately 8:20 a.m., Whitman Fire received a call from a Whitman police officer working a detail, who reported that a construction crew struck a gas line while replacing a water line on Hogg Memorial Drive.

Upon arrival, firefighters began to secure the area. They deployed hose lines in the area to protect structures, anticipating possible ignition of the gas. Whitman is at the end of the National Grid line, meaning the gas line is highly pressurized.

“When you have a leak of that size, it clears all the rust and dirt out of the line,” Chief Grenno explained. “Because of this, a brown gas cloud covered the south and west end of town and began blowing into the center of town.”

Out of an abundance of caution, Whitman Fire evacuated 15 homes on the street, which contained only about six people. The middle school, located nearby on Corthell Avenue, briefly sheltered in place. Emergency Medical Crews were also on scene to assist a male resident on the street who was unable to exit his home due to his medical status and sheltered in place at his residence.

National Grid arrived on scene around 9:30 a.m. and began to repair the leak, which was located in front of 201 Hogg Memorial Drive. Whitman Police assisted on scene and were instrumental in evacuating homes. The East Bridgewater Fire Department provided station coverage for Whitman and responded to several emergencies in town.

No injuries were reported.

Two homes in the direct vicinity of the leak are covered in dirt and rust from the break.

Residents were able to return home at about 10:20 a.m.

Whitman Fire Rescue cleared the scene around 11:30 a.m. National Grid is on-site completing repairs, and Hogg Memorial Drive will remain closed during the repairs.

“We’re thankful that no one was hurt and we appreciate residents’ cooperation and patience during this incident,” Chief Grenno said. “At no time was anyone in serious danger.”