Los Angeles Fire Department

Hazmat, Bomb Squad Respond as Tampered Gas Line Forces Evacuations

Police believe a former tenant at the property may have tampered with a gas line.

A natural gas line was tampered with and severed Monday afternoon at a residential property in Venice, leading to evacuations, a hazardous materials investigation and bomb squad call-out after suspicious containers were found on the property, authorities said.

Firefighters responded about 1:35 p.m. to a report of a natural gas leak in the area before the containers were found at 2013 S. Walgrove Ave., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A suspect, believed to be a former tenant at the property, may have tampered with a gas line, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. That person was not in custody, police said.

Nearly 60 homes in the area will not have gas overnight as a result of the leak. the Southern California Gas Company will return to the site at approximately 8 a.m. to restore gas for residents.

A bomb squad was summoned, as was the Southern California Gas Company, but details about what was in the containers, which were located in the rear of the property, was not immediately available.

Evacuations for around 50 homes were lifted by 11 p.m.

Walgrove was closed to traffic between Vienna Way and Victoria Avenue. Glencove Avenue was also closed from Victoria Avenue to Vienna Way, Stewart said.

A gas company crew pinched off the severed line and continued digging to reach a shut-off valve, Stewart said about 5:50 p.m.

"Shutting this valve will subsequently shut off gas to approximately 60 homes in the immediate area," Stewart said.

No estimate was available of how long affected residents would remain displaced, but an evacuation center was set up at the Penmar Recreation Center at 1341 Lake St., Stewart said.

No injuries were reported.

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