Homes, businesses evacuated after hydrogen sulfide detector goes off in Wheatley

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Some buildings, including homes and businesses, were evacuated in Wheatley last month to a gas leak.  (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
Some buildings, including homes and businesses, were evacuated in Wheatley last month to a gas leak. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

Concerns over a potential gas leak have once again prompted the evacuation of homes and buildings in Wheatley.

Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services said Monday morning that crews were responding after a hydrogen sulfide detector had activated at 15 Erie St. N., where a leak that caused a state of emergency was reported last month.

"Homes [and] business in those areas are also being evacuated as a precaution. Investigations continue, please avoid the area," the fire service said in a tweet just before 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Erie Street is closed between Elm Street and Talbot Street, and Talbot is closed from Erie Street to Little Street.

A hazmat crew from Windsor is heading to the area, the fire service said.

A state of emergency was in effect from June 3 to June 26 after a leak of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic, flammable gas, was identified in the building, which houses a restaurant.

Officials believed the gas may have been emanating from an abandoned well but crews could not identify the source. Gas hasn't been detected at the site since June 4, and following consultation with the provincial government, a decision was made to allow those who were ordered to leave the area to return.

About 27 people and a number of businesses were affected. Most were able to return by June 20.

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