The Chesterton Fire
Department evacuated two homes on Grant Ave. on Thursday night, after
discovering a significant natural-gas leak in an adjacent commercial
Capt. Tony Coslet
told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 6:27 p.m., the CFD
received a report of a powerful odor of gas on Wabash Ave. between Third
Street and North Calumet Road. Firefighters initially had trouble tracing
the leak, given the way the wind was blowing, although they did find a minor
one at the meter of a home in the 100 block of Wabash Ave., Coslet said.
Also responding was
a NIPSCO field worker, who after examining the meter determined that this
particular leak was too small to be responsible for the very strong odor of
gas. Firefighters, along with the NIPSCO rep, then “fanned out” with their
meters, and found gas readings “off the charts” in an alley behind the
commercial building at 136 Grant Ave., Coslet said. In the belief that the
building could be filling up with gas, the CFD made contact with the
keyholder, and on finally entering the building firefighters were able to
confirm that it was gas-free.
As a precaution,
however, the CFD evacuated the two homes immediately east of the commercial
building, whose residents are believed to have gone to family members to
stay, Coslet said. The Street Department also barricaded Grant Ave.
The source of the
leak was at last identified as a failure at the meter of the commercial
building’s service lateral, Coslet said. There had been no excavation in the
area nor was there any obvious damage to the meter, and Coslet speculated
that the weather may have had something to do with the leak.
The CFD returned to
station at 9:12 p.m., after turning the scene over to a NIPSCO crew.