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Afternoon gas leak forces neighborhood evacuation

READ MORE: Afternoon gas leak forces neighborhood evacuation
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Scary moments for a Wilmington neighborhood this afternoon after a gas leak forced some people from their homes. The gas leak near the intersection of 7th and Campbell Streets was so bad you could smell it from more than two blocks away.

The Wilmington Fire Department says the good news is that the gas did not ignite and crews secured the leak quickly.

"You just know it's gas. It's that gas smell," said Billy Kock, one of many residents who live near 7th and Campbell who smelled natural gas in the air around 1:30 p.m. Koch was one of the first to call 911.

"My first thought was has anybody called anybody?" Koch said. "I looked outside and saw some guy walking down the street. He looked like he knew what was going on. I let five minutes pass by and nothing happened, so I called 911, and they said the fire trucks were on their way."

Once on scene, the Wilmington Fire Department closed and evacuated two blocks around 7th and Campbell. Some residents, though, were told about the gas leak by the construction workers who hit the two inch line.

"A construction worker knocked on the door and said, 'There was a gas leak. The fire department is about to evacuate you.' And then I said, 'really?' He said, 'yeah. Can't you hear the gas leak?' And right down the street you can hear it like a balloon... tssss... Constantly," resident Chad Bridge said.

The hiss eventually stopped. Piedmont Gas crews secured it about half an hour after it ruptured.

Just about everybody we spoke with was not really worried about their safety, but rather the safety of their pets.

"I didn't know if I could get them, or I can come back for them or what," Bridge said.

The fire department says no one was hurt. Neighbors say their pets are doing fine as well.

The gas leak is being looked at by investigators to see if any fines may be handed out. No word yet on how long that investigation may take.

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