Updated 11/20/14 – 11:18 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of residents in the Edison Park neighborhood spent the night without heat, after city water crews knocked out a gas line.
Just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, a water crew working underground in the 6700 block of North Oconto Avenue struck a gas main, triggering a small fire, and creating a major emergency.
In all, 82 homes were without heat, and in some cases without water.
“It’s not very common that we have damage to this extent, but it does happen, and when it does happen, it’s important that our service personnel are here, and they’re able to get done with their work, and get our customers back on,” Peoples Gas spokeswoman Jennifer Block said.
The city sent a warming bus to the area for any residents who needed refuge from the frigid temperatures overnight, when it was as low as 18 degrees. However, only one woman took advantage of the bus.
Peoples Gas repaired the broken main by about 4 a.m. Thursday, and then began going door-to-door to manually restore service to each home. Block said the process takes 30 to 45 minutes per home, to make sure all their gas-fired appliances are working again.
Crews had restored gas service to half of the affected homes by 11 a.m., and expected to have the gas turned on at every home by early Thursday afternoon. If any homeowner is unavailable to allow crews inside to restore service, Peoples Gas said it will make them a priority, and send crews to their home as soon as they call.