Crews are currently working to repair a gas leak on Cherry Street near Gregory Road behind the Aaron's furniture rental store off HWY 16.
Captain Greg Speck of Graham Fire Rescue was on scene, and said that the local gas company, Texas Gas Service, was testing lines in the area for leaks. A leak was found on a line running perpendicular under Cherry Street just south of Gregory Road. When crews removed the dirt surrounding the valve on that line, it fell apart causing a 30 psi leak on a 2-inch main line.
Officers with the Graham Police Department and the Department of Public Safety created a perimeter, and firefighters with GFR evacuated employees and patrons from the three businesses, Aaron's, Super Buffet and the Graham Donut shop, in direct proximity to the leak.
Texas Gas Service was able to get gas shut off and GFR checked the businesses for the presence of gas with a meter before allowing them to re-open shortly after.
As a precaution, a utility worker on scene was checked for exposure to the gas by Young County EMTs, said Speck. He was uninjured.
Aaron's general manager Sean Rawlins said his business was evacuated at approximately 11:30 a.m. and was reopened about an hour later.
Rawlins added that firefighters worked quickly but the delay still impacted business.
“They were nice and speedy. It still took an hour away from business,” said Rawlins. “I had to pay my employees to sit around and play pool.”
A representative from Texas Gas Service on scene declined to comment.
Look for the expanded story in this weekend's Graham Leader.