Gas Leak Forces Nearly 100 Northwest Miami-Dade Residents to Evacuate

A propane tank leaked at the Pine Bark Apartment complex at Northwest 87th Avenue and 8th Street.

By Claudia DoCampo
|  Sunday, Jun 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:23 AM EDT
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A propane tank leaked at the Pine Bark Apartment complex at Northwest 87th Avenue and 8th Street Saturday evening, causing nearly 100 residents to evacuate the building. NBC6's Claudia DoCampo reports.

A propane tank leaked at the Pine Bark Apartment complex at Northwest 87th Avenue and 8th Street Saturday evening, causing nearly 100 residents to evacuate the building. NBC6's Claudia DoCampo reports.

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Nearly 100 people were forced to evacuate their apartment buildings after a gas leak in Northwest Miami-Dade Saturday evening.

More than 40 apartments in three different building at the Pine Bark apartment complex at Northwest 87th Avenue and 8th Street were evacuated at 5:30 p.m.

Officials said the gas leak came from a 100-gallon propane tank outside the laundry room that was used to fuel the dryers. They said it had just been filled by the gas company.

A fire rescue team was called to the scene after one resident noticed the strong smell of gas as she walked her dog.

"The gas was leaking. [It] looked like a cloud of smoke," resident Marta Chacon said. "The smell was so strong I had to run from it and I called 911."

Authorities said the leak could have been much worse had it not been for Chacon's quick action.

"Anytime you have gas there's always the potential of having an ignition," said Chief Pedro Bas, with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Bas said an ignition could spread flames 300 feet in every direction. The building's electricity was shut off for three hours to make sure there was no possibility of causing a spark.

"Depending on the amount of gas there's always the poss of an explosion," he said.

Residents are back in their apartments after fire officials safely emptied the tank away from the apartment complex. The tank will be replaced by the gas company.

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