A large natural gas leak forced the evacuation of homes and businesses on the city's north side Thursday and briefly shut down North Clinton Street and Lima Road during afternoon rush hour.
NIPSCO said the leak was stopped around 8:15 p.m. and workers had begun repairs, which were expected to last until early today.
Deputy Chief Adam O'Connor of the Fort Wayne Fire Department said underground boring by a NIPSCO subcontractor caused the leak.
The strong odor from the leak pervaded a large area that extended to Turnstone in the 3300 block of North Clinton where the fire department had set up a safety area.
The fire department assisted NIPSCO with on-site metering of basements in the Edgewood Drive area to make sure the gas was not entering and settling in basements. Settled natural gas can cause explosions, O'Connor said.
Assistant Chief Jim Murua said the leak was detected around 4:30 p.m. Several small businesses on Edgewood and North Clinton were forced to close and were evacuated because of the gas, he added.
North Clinton and Lima were open by 6:15 p.m. and Edgewood opened later in the evening.
Specialized welders were being brought in from out of town to repair the leak, O'Connor said.