Gas leak in vacant St. James home upsets neighbors

Chief William Theobalt says the St. James Fire Department was called to a home on Northern Boulevard at around 3:30 p.m. after a construction worker walked into the house and smelled gas.

Chief William Theobalt says the St. James Fire Department was called to a home on Northern Boulevard at around 3:30 p.m. after a construction worker walked into the house and smelled gas. (3/12/14)

SAINT JAMES - A gas leak was discovered in a vacant home in St. James Tuesday afternoon.

Chief William Theobalt says the St. James Fire Department was called to a home on Northern Boulevard at around 3:30 p.m. after a construction worker walked into the house and smelled gas. Theobalt says a pipe had been cut, allowing gas to fill the home. He says the stove was left on, as well.

Officials quickly cut the gas supply to the property. The chief says there were some temporary evacuations of neighboring homes. Neighbors call the house a blight in the community.

"It’s an eyesore, potentially dangerous,” said Chris Lapresti, who wants to see the home torn down.

Lapresti says the home, which is currently owned by a bank, has been vacant for about eight months.

Police say someone appeared to have ransacked the house before the gas leak. Neighbors say they have called the authorities multiple times after witnessing people entering the abandoned home during overnight hours.

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