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Gas leak fixed as downtown St. Petersburg evacuation ends

ST. PETERSBURG — A gas leak that shut down a block of Central Avenue downtown Thursday morning was repaired and evacuees allowed back into their buildings.

The leak was first reported at Crowley's Downtown, 269 Central Ave., about 8 a.m. Thursday. Another pilot light went out at Fortunato's Italian Market, 259 Central Ave.

Fire crews evacuated buildings along the north side of Central and south side of First Avenue N between Second and Third streets after the leak was reported, authorities said.

Fire crews also shut down gas to the buildings.

Central was blocked to traffic as firefighters investigated the leaks. Fire crews opened windows and doors to let the gas out.

"The best thing we can do is open everything up," said Lt. Joel Granata, St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue spokesman.

By 11:15 a.m., firefighters were packing up and evacuees were being allowed back inside.

It was unclear why the pilot lights went out.

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Gas leak fixed as downtown St. Petersburg evacuation ends 01/27/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:55am]
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