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Businesses Reopen; Best Buy Water Heater Not Venting

The Bel Air businesses were closed for more than six hours.

UPDATE (7:39 p.m.)—Boulton Street businesses reopened at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday after BGE completed repairs of a struck gas line. The electric and gas company "assisted with purge and relight after the strike was repaired," an operator for the company said.

"It's [for] like the appliances and things like that that are ran by gas," the employee said. "We made all the repairs, we relit the appliances inside of the properties. ...

"For the Best Buy, we did advise whoever was there with us, we advised them that the hot water heater was not venting properly," she said. "We left a plumber's repair tag."

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UPDATE (3:22 p.m.)—Another BGE employee said the company is still fixing the leak.

"We are still on site working to have it repaired," she said.

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UPDATE (1:21 p.m.)— and other businesses in the 600 block of Boulton Street in Bel Air were evacuated early Tuesday afternoon due to a gas leak.

Rich Gardiner, a spokesman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, said the evacuations are a "safety precaution." Gardiner did not specify whether there were any injuries.

Gardiner added that BGE is working to secure the leak and that when the buildings are determined to be clear of any hazard, businesses will be allowed to resume operations.

A telephone operator at BGE said the incident was due to a "struck gas line." She was not sure how the gas line has been hit, but said it originated on Best Buy's property.

"It’s basically affecting the entire shopping center," the BGE employee said. "The gas is still blowing. ... All hands are on deck."

There was no estimate about when the leak would be fixed.

"Anytime it's a struck gas line it's pretty serious," the employee said. "[But] it'll be completed today."

Updates to follow.

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