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Washington Heights Building's Gas Service Shut Down After Leak Found

By Nigel Chiwaya | March 18, 2014 9:28am
  Residents at 615 West 176th St. said they smelled a strong gas odor in the building's front hall.
Washington Heights Gas Leak
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NORTHERN MANHATTAN — Con Edison has shut off gas to a Washington Heights apartment building in the wake of the East Harlem explosion, after residents reported a strong gas smell in the front hallway.

The fire department received complaints of a gas odor at 615 W. 176th St. on Saturday and turned off gas to the building Saturday night, a Con Ed spokesman confirmed.

Upon inspection, Con Ed crews discovered a leak in the service line that runs gas to the building, officials said.

The gas remained off on Monday evening, officials said.

"We are monitoring and we will get a crew there to make repairs as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

A sign in front of the building warned residents that gas service would remain off indefinitely.

"Please be advised that there is no gas due to Con Edison work until they advise us," the sign reads.

Tenants said they first noticed problems last week when they started smelling a strong gas odor in the entrance to the building.

"It was more than a hint of a smell, so you knew something wasn't right," said Winston Albert, who lives in the building and said Con Ed crews arrived on the scene Saturday night and began testing apartments before they started digging up the street in front the building.

Albert said he was alarmed by the smell after last week's explosion in East Harlem, which leveled two buildings and killed eight people. Officials determined the blast was caused by a gas leak.

"Everybody's worried after what happened last week," Albert said.