Gas leak 8-21-17

Fire department and utility crews worked at the scene of a gas leak on the West Side.

A West Side neighborhood was evacuated for about five hours Monday because of a gas leak at an unoccupied home.

Nobody was hurt.

The leak was reported at about 8:30 a.m. at 4353 Crawford Drive, the Madison Fire Department said.

Madison Gas and Electric found high readings of natural gas outside the home, so the fire department was called to help evacuate homes on Crawford Drive and Helene Parkway, just as a precaution. a bike path and park near the home also was closed.

"Neighbors said the homeowner had been recovering from a health issue and hadn't been at home the past couple of weeks," said MFD spokeswoman Bernadette Galvez.

Gas and electricity was shut off to the home and surrounding homes, with access to the area blocked until the gas could dissipate.

Residents went home at about 1:30 p.m. after their homes were checked to make sure gas levels were safe, and both gas and electricity were turned back on, except to the affected home.

Metro Transit brought a city bus to the site so temporarily displaced residents had a place to go.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.