FD: Gas leak in Melville store reached explosive level

A gas leak inside a store in Melville reached explosive levels Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of several buildings. Melville Assistant Fire Chief David Kaplan said

Melville Assistant Fire Chief David Kaplan said that readings were

Melville Assistant Fire Chief David Kaplan said that readings were "pretty high" inside Barrels and Stills wine and spirits on Walt Whitman Road. (2/16/16)

MELVILLE - A gas leak inside a store in Melville reached explosive levels Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of several buildings.

Melville Assistant Fire Chief David Kaplan said that readings were "pretty high" inside Barrels and Stills wine and spirits on Walt Whitman Road.

"They were above 5 percent, which puts them in the explosive levels," said Kaplan.

Store owners Raj Rametra and Krinal Patel called National Grid around 1:30 p.m. The owners said they have been calling National Grid about smelling gas since Thanksgiving.

"A lot of our customers have been commenting about smelling something every time they come in… [We were] trying to do the right thing in contacting authorities, but we're being told that everything is OK," said Patel.

The owners said officials told them that the leak was coming from the pipe along Walt Whitman Road and traveling through the crawlspace in their store.

There were no injuries.

Melville fire crews evacuated about 25 people from several commercial properties and the apartments above.

There was no word from National Grid as to what caused the natural gas leak.

A National Grid spokesperson said crews would work through the night to find the exact source of the leak.

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