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Gas odor brings firefighters, Nicor back to scene of Oct. 9 explosion

Amid the burning wreckage of the Lincoln Street explosion Oct. 9, a truck from Nicor Gas Co. sits damaged at ground zero of the blast. When the odor of gas was detected in that are Monday, firefighters were called back to the scene . (Woodstock Fire/Rescue District photo)

Staff Report Nicor Gas fixed a small underground leak Monday after a natural gas odor was detected in the vicinity of the Oct. 9 explosion. According to a news release from the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District, a “faint odor was noticeable” but winds made it difficult to pinpoint. Firefighters responded at 1:21 p.m. Monday to the 300 block of Lincoln Avenue, where the Oct. 9 blast destroyed two houses and damaged about 15 others. Several citizens greeted firefighters outside in the 300 block of Lincoln Avenue after a natural gas odor was detected across from the parking lot of St. Mary Catholic Church. Representatives from Nicor Gas arrived shortly after firefighters and were able to find a small underground leak between the sidewalk and street. No immediate hazards were evident, the release said, so firefighters turned the scene over to Nicor crews within 30 minutes. No evacuations or shelter-in-place orders were made. The gas leak was considered an isolated incident, and Lincoln Avenue remained open. At 3:51 p.m., an ambulance was dispatched to a home in the vicinity of the leak for a medical emergency for reasons not related to the gas leak, the release said, One person was reportedly taken to the hospital. In a statement Monday afternoon, St. Mary said it had canceled all activities and closed the church grounds through at least Tuesday. The church and school were expected to resume normal operations Tuesday. Residents were advised to evacuate their homes and call 911 if a strong smell of natural gas is detected in the home. First responders and gas company representatives can find the leak. Homeowners also were urged to install carbon monoxide alarms in their homes as an easy, potentially, life-saving practice.

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