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BGE stops gas leak in historic Ellicott City; Main Street reopened to traffic

A gas leak in historic Ellicott City has been stopped by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews on scene Thursday, according to a spokesman for the utility.

Crews have stopped the flow of gas to the building and in the process of venting it, according to Nick Alexopulos, a BGE spokesman.

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Main Street has reopened to traffic, Howard police said.

The leak occurred in the 8000 block of Tiber Alley. Alexopulos provided the address of 8069 Tiber Alley, which is the address for the former Rumor Mill Restaurant.

The fire department was notified at 11:40 a.m. and sent 40 firefighters to help clear 30 buildings on lower Main Street, according to Maria Hogg, a fire department spokeswoman. One fireman was sent to the hospital because of heat exhaustion. He is expected to make a full recovery.

“Out of an abundance of caution, BGE worked with the [Howard County] fire department to evacuate the building where the incident occurred as well as nearby buildings,” Alexopulos said.

Fire crews from Howard County Fire Department remain on the scene of a gas leak that caused a section of Historic Ellicott City to be evacuated on Thursday.

Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services evacuated the immediate areas of Main Street, Tiber Alley and St. Paul’s Street, Hogg said.

Dave Robeson was at home in Columbia when alerted of the gas leak. Robeson, 57, owns the Antique Depot nearby where his son was working when evacuations took place.

Robeson said nearby Ellicott City shop owners and patrons were initially evacuated to the B&O train station.

“Looks like we have to worry about gas leaks in addition to flooding,” he said. “Here’s something else that shut down the town.”

All vehicle and foot traffic was closed between Old Columbia Pike to the Baltimore County line, and also on Maryland Avenue to St. Paul’s Street up to College Avenue.

It appears that a gas line was severed by a non-BGE contractor, Alexopulos said.

BGE will be making repairs to the damaged gas equipment.

Howard County Times reporter Erin B. Logan contributed to this article.

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