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Senior Center, Houses Evacuated After Gas Leak

The gas leak occurred Tuesday morning in the 1000 block of Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring.

Residences and a senior center were evacuated Tuesday morning after a gas main leak was discovered in the 1000 block of Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, according to Beth Anne Nesselt, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

Along with the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, "a couple of homes were evacuated…for a short period of time…out of an abundance of caution," Nesselt told Patch.

Fire and rescue officials were dispatched to the scene of the leak at about 9:45 a.m.

They "took readings when they arrived to ensure that there was no migration of gas into the residential structures," Nesselt said. No gas was found in the houses that were evacuated, she added.

By about 10:45 a.m., Washington Gas had contained the leak, which was comprised of a number of pinhole leaks, Nesselt said.

There were no injuries, she added.

While the evacuated residents were able to get back into their homes fairly quickly, the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center—a drop-in center for seniors at at 1000 Forest Glen Rd.—was closed for the remainder of the day on Tuesday, Karen Maxin, program coordinator for the center, told Patch.

The center provides visiting seniors with lunch, and while the center was closed before lunchtime, the seniors who otherwise might not have gotten lunch were provided with something to eat, Maxin said.

"We’re a small center, so we know everyone’s needs and we take care of them," Maxin added.

The center will open tomorrow, she said.

Outside the center, Forest Glen Road was closed for a short time—between about 9:50 and 11:40 a.m., Montgomery County Police Officer Janelle Smith told Patch—while investigators worked to contain the leak and determine its cause. Washington Gas has taken over the investigation, Nesselt said.

Nearby, faculty members of The Siena School—a private school for grades four through 12 at 1300 Forest Glen Rd.—were aware of the situation, but did not evacuate the school, Head of School Clay Kaufman told Patch. Students continued with school picture day activities in the afternoon, a school faculty member said.

Patch is waiting to hear back from Washington Gas for more information on the cause and repair of the leak.

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