Updated at 5 p.m. Thursday: RIDGEFIELD, Conn. - A broken gas line had businesses and homes on Market and Main streets in Ridgefield evacuated Thursday morning.
The culprit was a small purge valve that was accidentally caught and broken by a Ridgefield Highway Department backhoe while prepping the road for repaving, Ridgefield Fire Chief Heather Burford said.
According to Burford, the town had done everything correctly, including calling the 1-800 number to ask about pipes and marking the area, but were simply unaware of a "pigtale" valve that was attached to the 8-inch plastic natural gas main.
The natural gas line was one of several recently put in by Yankee Gas, Burford said, and is considered to be a low pressure line at 35 pounds per square inch.
A 500-foot perimeter was set up around the gas leak, evacuating children from Veterans Park Elementary School, the Ridgefield Community Center, several Main Street business, including the Bissel House, and homes along Main Street for safety reasons.
There weren't any fires, Burford said, and no one was injured while getting the leak under control. Firefighters misted the gas in hopes of keeping the light gas closer to the ground and decrease any chance of fires.
Residents and businesses were allowed back at about noon after Yankee Gas arrived to help assess and repair the problems.
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