Utility workers puncture line, evacuating 6 homes

Six homes near Seventh Street and Cottage Avenue were evacuated after a company that was installing fiber optic conduit struck a gas line.

Columbus police and firefighters were sent to 703 Cottage Ave. about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after workers from Addison Underground Utilities told investigators they hit a plastic gas line while using a small excavator on Cottage, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman. Utility location markers were visible.

Police blocked off the area while firefighters evacuated the homes and canvassed the area to obtain gas-level readings in the neighborhood, Wilson said.

Vectren arrived at about 9:45 a.m. and followed the leak across the roadway to 702 Cottage Ave. where workers dug to cap the leak at about 10:15 a.m., Wilson said. Firefighters then took readings inside the homes before allowing residents to return.

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Repairs to the gas line were estimated to take about an hour, and no injuries were reported at the scene, Wilson said.

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Columbus Fire Department reminds residents to request utilities be marked before digging around homes. In Tuesday’s incident, a utility locator service had marked the lines.

Vectren provides the following information for having utility lines marked on its website.

Before any digging or earth moving, whether by a homeowner or a professional excavator or contractor, state law requires calling 811 to notify the local One-Call center at least 48 hours or two full business days prior to the scheduled excavation in order to have underground utilities located and marked free of charge.

Provide the 811 operator with the following information:

  • County, city or township
  • Digging location (street address and nearest cross street)
  • Type and extent of work
  • Digging start date and time

After calling 811:

  • The One Call Center will contact the appropriate utility companies, and a trained technician will mark the location of underground facilities with colored flags, stakes or paint at no cost to you. Wait two full business days before beginning the digging.