Fairport Harbor explosion due to overpressurized gas pipes - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Fairport Harbor explosion due to overpressurized gas pipes

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FAIRPORT HARBOR, OH (WOIO) - The State Fire Marshal is due on scene in Fairport Harbor Tuesday for inspection after the numberous fires that broke out Monday morning.

Power was restored late Monday to most residents, however 200 were still without gas 200 after Monday's gas leak that prompted an evacuation of the entire village.

An official with Dominion says between 18-to-20 homes were damaged by fire or have structural damage. They have contacted nearly all of the 1,500 customers but the number of homes with furnace damage is still not known. 

Meantime, Fairport Harbor Mayor Frank Sarosy says Dominion is putting some residents up at hotels. Residents were given the green light to return to their homes around 4PM Monday afternoon.

During the evacuation, many residents left town, but some went to the senior center and others to Harvey High School. "I'm not a person who scares easily, but when I saw smoke on both sides of us, we got out," said Dorothy Soltis.

Dominion says the preliminary cause to the fires was an over-pressurization in their gas lines, which caused a large thrust of gas. "It looks like an over pressurization of our system," said Jeff Zidonis of Dominion Gas. "That is speculation at this time, but that's were things seem to be pointing to."

Sources tell 19 Action News that the problem was with a main line regulator, which caused more gas than could be handled to be pushed down the lines. The excess gas caused pilot lights to flare up and spark the fires.

The problem has since been corrected.

Dominion has pulled in additional resources to canvass each neighborhood, so that they can begin the process of inspecting customer homes and restoring natural gas service. Once inside the home, crews will turn off the gas, conduct an inspection, check all appliances and the meter and restore service. If service cannot be restored on Monday, the company is assisting those customers with temporary lodging.

Dominion will make all reasonable attempts to gain access to each home; however, if the company cannot gain access to a residence, the gas will be disconnected at the curb and a notice on the door will advise the homeowner to contact the gas company when they return home at 1-800-362-7557.

Copyright 2011 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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