Severed gas line threatens homes |

Severed gas line threatens homes

A broken gas meter Monday forced part of a neighborhood to be evacuated for a short time.

A woman, visiting friends on the 800 block of Jeffrey Street, parked her Subaru on the side of a driveway to prevent oil from dripping on the pavement. Her foot slipped off the clutch and the vehicle surged forward into the gas meter. There was no structural damage to the house. The driver declined to comment.

South Lake Tahoe firefighters and police responded to the initial 2:15 p.m. call about a car crashing into a house with flames visible from a gas break. There was no fire, but the possibility of an explosion was enough for firefighters to close Jeffrey Street off Tahoe Keys Boulevard for roughly 15 minutes, said Capt. Steve Lang.

Firefighters used a hose to create wind so the gas didn’t settle, Lang said. The leak was later capped.

Lang and other firefighters were concerned that the wood stove fire inside the residence and a neighbor cooking next door could be “ignition sources” that would potentially touch off a massive fire or explosion.

Marlene Lewis was making taco soup next door when she heard “this big air sound.” She called 911 when she discovered it was a gas leak and immediately fled her kitchen.

The house with the gas leak belongs to Gordon and Annie Rupert. After Gordon Rupert was wheeled back into the house, his wife couldn’t hide her nervousness.

“We’ve lived here 42 years and nothing like this has happened,” she said. “This is pretty scary.”

When the all-clear was given, Lewis kept hope for her soup.

“I hope it’s not burnt,” she said. “I was past the sautZ stage and about to put all the good stuff in.”

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