Albion homes evacuated after gas leak

Residents along Tamarack Lane in Maple Ridge had to be evacuated from their homes Saturday afternoon after a neighbour ruptured a natural gas line while working in his yard.

A homeowner on the 23400-block of Tamarack Lane was having a tree stump removed from his back yard with an excavator when the two-inch gas line was ruptured around 2 p.m., according to Maple Ridge fire chief Dane Spence.

The man’s home, as well as his neighbours’ homes, had to be evacuated by the Maple Ridge Fire Department while FortisBC crews worked to repair the broken pipe. Four customers in the area also had their gas shut off while workers attempted to fix the leak.

FortisBC crews repaired the gas line by 4:30 p.m., and residents in the area were allowed to return to their homes.

FortisBC spokesperson Tracy Tang said the situation could likely have been avoided had the homeowner or contractor called B.C. One Call before trying to remove the stump.

B.C. One Call will provide a site plan showing the exact location of underground utilities, or a technician will visit the site and provide physical markings.

“Always call before you dig,” she said. “Even if you are just putting up a fence or planting a tree, there could be buried utility lines you aren’t aware of. A broken gas line can be very dangerous, luckily no one was hurt.”

• Call B.C. One Call before you dig, 1-800-474-6886, toll-free.

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