Firefighters in West Brentwood evacuated families from three houses closest to a reported gas leak about 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Crews worked throughout the night into Thursday morning, drilling through the sidewalk on the 600 block of Allbrook Court to determine the source of the leak in a two-inch plastic pipe about three to four feet underground. Then they spent hours connecting a new tube to bypass the leak source so that when the company shut off gas, it would cut off service to just the three houses as opposed to 40 customers, especially important in the winter cold.
Joy Nessen’s family was told to evacuate by firefighters around 7 p.m. Wednesday night. She said there was pounding on the door right after she and her daughter finished dinner. When she heard it was a gas leak outside her house, all she could think of was San Bruno’s deadly pipeline explosion in 2010. Nessen added that her company helped rebuild some of the houses there. “I work for a construction company and I used to work for insurance, so I know about explosions. I know about gas leaks, it’s a scary thing.”
Kyron Jones said he’s lived in the neighborhood for 10 years and was alerted when he heard a lot of trucks outside his front window.
“I came out here and started smelling gas," Jones said."I had to call my neighbors down the street because they were evacuating people and everything else, just trying to make sure everybody was all right.”
It was tough to sleep, he recalled, and all because of images from San Bruno. “The thing with San Bruno – I was thinking about people walking outside. It said peoples’ shoes [were] melting to the ground. I didn’t want the same thing to happen here. I really didn’t know what to do, for real.”
Nessen said she and neighbors had gotten notices from PG&E a couple weeks ago that crews would be checking some lines in the area. As of noon, crews were still repairing the pipe and trying to figure out the cause of the leak. One employee indicated there were other systems underground next to the pipeline, including a telephone line.