Gas leaks in Pittsfield shut down streets


PITTSFIELD -- A reported gas leak shut down Worthington Street in Pittsfield for much of the day on Friday. There was also a reported leak at Wellington and Maplewood avenues on Friday night, according to the Pittsfield Fire Department.

Numerous Berkshire Gas vans were lined up on Worthington Street for most of the day, digging underneath the road and fixing the apparent gas leak, local residents said.

The street was blocked off to traffic from about noon until about 7 p.m., according to residents. The leak appeared to finally be fixed, with a large hole in the road patched up afterward.

Kathy Tierney, a resident on the street, was greeted with a large pile of dirt in front of her home, which Berkshire Gas workers dumped after they were done digging, she said.

Tierney said she "wasn't aware" of the leak, until Berkshire Gas workers appeared at her home at about 11 a.m. and found gas leaking into her basement. She was told to leave her home and wasn't allowed back until about 4 p.m. She was without heat until late Friday night, she said.

Harrison Jackson, a neighbor of Tierney, said he was visited by Berkshire Gas workers around 1:30 p.m. "The guy from the gas company came in with a sensor and it went off at my basement door," he said. He was told to leave his residence, and was allowed to return at about 7 p.m.

Mark Rufo, another resident of the street, said he got a call to come home from work around noon so Berkshire Gas workers could check the residence for a leak. "They checked our boilers," he said. Rufo said workers didn't find a leak at his home. He said the gas company was working until about 7 p.m., digging holes in the road and testing for leaks. Rufo said he was relieved they fixed the leak since it could have caused a major fire.

The Pittsfield Fire Department had no record of the Worthington Street leak, Deputy Chief Mark Cancilla said. Cancilla said the department was called out to a reported leak on Wellington Street and Maplewood Avenue on Friday night in the sewer, which was fixed. Messages left with the Pittsfield Police Department were not returned. Representatives from Berkshire Gas were unavailable.

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
or (413) 496-6243


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