A copper thief put dozens of lives at risk by causing a major gas leak in New Haven on Wednesday evening.
The incident was reported on Shelton Avenue around 5:15 p.m.
Box for Major Gas Leak 33 Shelton Ave— New Haven Fire (@NewHavenFire) December 21, 2016
Contractors boarded up the vacant home where the gas leak happened.
"I said, 'wow something really big is going on,'" said Glenita Swint, a neighbor
Nobody was injured during the gas leak, but the situation was serious. Police and firefighters responded to the home on Shelton Avenue.
"A block and a half away you could smell the gas. So the gas leak is really bad," Swint said.
Investigators told Eyewitness News the gas levels inside the house were so high that if someone lit a match nearby, the home could have exploded.
"We would have all been up in smoke, we would have all been dead," Swint said.
The gas company assured everyone who lives in the are that the street is now safe, but neighbors believe this scare proves all of the vacant homes on the street are a safety hazard the city must address.
"That's really, really bad. That's something that everyone in the neighborhood has to look out for because that's a hazard to everyone's health," said Swint.
Contractors also boarded up a vacant home next door as a precaution. Police are still looking into the copper thief and and the person could face criminal charges.
"Why would you risk everybody's life. You aren't thinking about other people, but you're willing to risk other people's life stealing copper," said Ray Moore, a neighbor.
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