Gas leak evacuates apartments blocks away from where house exploded

About 90 apartments in the Chapel Creek complex in the 3400 block of Hidalgo Drive were evacuated, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

An apartment building about four blocks from where a home exploded Friday in northwest Dallas was evacuated Sunday afternoon after reports of a natural gas leak, officials said.

About 90 apartments were evacuated in the Chapel Creek complex in the 3400 block of Hidalgo Drive, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

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Firefighters stayed on the scene until early this evening, while DPD officers remained overnight to make sure no one entered the complex.

Natalie Amaya said she was home, smelled gas and then heard a knock at the door.

"It was firefighters, telling us we had to go," Amaya said. "I was like a gas leak, in the same week as the explosion, that's pretty weird."

Atmos Energy crews discovered the leak while surveying the area for gas leaks following Friday's explosion in the 3500 block of Espanola Drive. The explosion killed a 12-year-old girl, Linda Rogers.

Concern only heightened on Sunday evening as Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to a house fire at 3804 Eaton, just southeast of the explosion site.

Many neighbors in the subdivision east of Marsh Ln stood outside in the dark while fire crews worked and couldn't help but wonder about a possible connection to another natural gas leak. Atmos Energy had crews in the area Sunday night.

"We didn't have to evacuate last week on this part of Almazan" one woman told WFAA. "But now we're wondering if we should have."

Atmos asked for a voluntary evacuation of homes on Eaton east of Mixon to Wemdon as a precautionary measure while DFR investigated the fire.

Evans said it was determined the fire started in a bedroom and was not natural gas related.

Atmos is in the process of repairing 2 1/2 miles of gas lines throughout the neighborhood. About 300 homes in the area were evacuated until Saturday, though gas was just being restored to the homes starting Sunday.

An Atmos spokesperson said Sunday evening they did not have a cause for the leak that led to the evacuation at Chapel Creek Apartments or how long it would take to repair. Residents of the complex were asked to call 972-964-4191 and allow Atmos to help make hotel arrangements, if needed.

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Two other recent house fires in the neighborhood also appeared to be gas-related, Evans said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived in Dallas on Sunday to assist in the explosion investigation. The NTSB investigates incidents involving natural gas lines.