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Gas Leak Near 16th St. Could Have Blown Up Locals, ANC Member Says

by Andrew Ramonas February 4, 2016 at 10:40 am 1 Comment

Beekman Place Gatehouse (Photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 12:55 p.m. Friday) Anyone smoking outside near Meridian Hill Park during last month’s blizzard was extremely lucky to have made it through the storm unscathed, an Adams Morgan community leader said last night.

Natural gas started leaking near 16th and Belmont streets NW on Jan. 24, filling the nearby Beekman Place gatehouse with fumes and making it “uninhabitable,” Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C commissioner JonMarc Buffa said. Washington Gas workers didn’t get the leak fixed until Jan. 26, helping eliminate a gas odor that locals could smell from Florida Avenue to Crescent Place NW, he said.

“Folks walking down the street smoking on 16th Street could have blown themselves up,” Buffa told residents at an ANC meeting.

A Washington Gas representative wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Buffa said he was particularly “outraged” by a lack of public notification from Washington Gas about the leak and by what he considered a slow response by the company to fix the problem. The commissioner said he intends to write up a resolution that would call on Washington Gas to explain what he called “their failure to care for our community.”

Buffa noted: “A simple spark in [the Beekman Place gatehouse] would have lit the whole building on fire and sent a fireball up Belmont Street.”

Photo via Google Maps

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