Herar Lane residents evacuated from their homes Tuesday afternoon following a natural gas leak fire were allowed to return shortly after 11:30 p.m.
Earlier in the day, an energized power line detached from the pole and fell on top of a stop sign at the intersection of Stave Lake Street and Parr Avenue, said Deputy Fire Chief Larry Watkinson.
The stop sign was buried deeply enough that it touched the six-inch steel gas main, and ruptured it, causing a fire to start, said Fortis BC spokesperson Michael Allison.
Stave Lake Street between Best and Cherry Avenues was closed for hours, and Fortis requested all homes on the east side of Herar Lane be evacuated shortly before 5 p.m.
Mission’s emergency operations centre at fire station one was activated to help deal with the evacuation, and Mission’s Emergency Social Services volunteers were set up at the Leisure Centre to aid evacuees.
Gloria Danielson and her husband Jack have lived on Herar Lane for 13 years, and around 1:40 p.m., they noticed a strong smell of gas outside and soon saw the BC Hydro and Fortis trucks arrive on Stave Lake Street.
At first the couple assumed someone had crashed into the electrical box in the road curve, but a few hours later, a Mission firefighter was at their door telling them they had to leave the home. They stayed at her sister’s until the all clear was given.
Allison said said special equipment had to be brought in from Coquitlam to stop the flow of gas, and once that was brought under control, repair work began.
The incident caused a power outage which affected 3,300 customers at the peak. Power was restored around 7 p.m.