Gas leak shuts down road

??Break in the line on Glenoaks Boulevard closes the street for nearly two hours during its repairs.NORTHWEST GLENDALE -- A portion of Glenoaks Boulevard was closed off Thursday morning and firefighters asked residents to stay indoors as crews worked to fix a major gas leak caused by a contractor for the Southern California Gas Co., officials said.

The leak happened at about 9:15 a.m. when a crew hired by the gas company damaged a gas line under Glenoaks Boulevard, near Highland Avenue, Glendale Fire Capt. Steven Parrish said.

The Southern California Gas Co. hired the crew to make upgrades along the 30-inch-wide gas supply line under the street, said Tony Tartaglia, spokesman for the Southern California Gas Co.

They struck a ¾-inch-wide line that comes off the main supply line and connects to a pressure release valve, which caused gas to shoot into the air, Parrish said.

"It's rising and dissipating," he said of the gas.

The smell of gas was strong in the air and the leak caused a drilling-like noise that could be heard along Glenoaks Boulevard.

Jose Garcia, who was in a nearby apartment on a paint job, had to stop working because the smell was so bad.

"It was very strong," he said. "I probably could have worked through it, but [firefighters] said it would be better not to."

No dangerous levels of gas were found in the air, Glendale Fire Battalion Chief Bill Baileysaid, but fire fighters were not taking any risks.

Glenoaks Boulevard, between Kenilworth and Highland avenues, was closed to traffic until about 11 a.m., and firefighters asked residents along Glenoaks Boulevard between Concord Street and Highland Avenue not to turn on their car engines.

"I heard a hard banging on the door, and it was a firefighter," said Robert Zimiga, who lives in the area where the leak happened. "He just said to stay inside, shut the windows and not to smoke."

For stores along Glenoaks Boulevard, the street closure meant less business.

"[Firefighters] told me to keep the door closed because they said there was a gas leak," said Asharaf Khalil, an employee at Ven's Liquor and Wine.

The store, usually busy in the late morning hours, according to Khalil, was empty Wednesday as crews worked to fix the leak.

"It's because everybody has a car," he said. "Not a lot of people walk here. But I'm not complaining."

The same crew that damaged the line worked until about 11 a.m. to fix it, Tartaglia said.

And because the line that was damaged was not a line that supplies gas to area dwellings, service was not affected, he said.

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