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Underground gas leak sparks street fire, evacuations in La Quinta

By in Press Enterprise on December 24, 2017

By Gail Wesson

Residents were allowed to return to their homes at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, almost 12 hours after a ruptured underground gas line created a spectacle, with seeping gas catching fire on a La Quinta street, according to a Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department news release.

The evacuation in the neighborhood – including about 40 animals from an animal hospital – near Eisenhower Drive and Avenida Montezuma, was done as a precaution. No one was hurt.

The ruptured underground natural gas line continued to leak up to the street where it burned, creating a glow Saturday night at the corner of Avenida Montezuma and Eisenhower Drive in La Quinta before repairs were made. (Photo courtesy of Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department)

Firefighters responded at 3:06 p.m. Saturday to a report of a gas line break involving a fire in the 77700 block of Avenida Montezuma, with Southern California Gas Co. enroute to make repairs. The area is several blocks west of Old Town La Quinta.

About five home on the west side of Eisenhower were evacuated and an evacuation center opened at the city’s Wellness Center, a fitness center, nearby. The cats and dogs were taken to an animal hospital in Palm Springs.

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