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Gas leak, fire cause homes in northwest valley to be evacuated

The fire that started when a backhoe hit a natural gas line Tuesday morning in northwest Las Vegas is out and residents in the area have returned home after being evacuated, the Las Vegas Fire Department said in a statement.

About 11:30 a.m., firefighters received calls that an explosion and fire occurred in the intersection of Acacia Tree Drive and Anasazi Drive, the release said. When firefighters arrived they found a backhoe on fire in the road on Acacia Tree Drive, about 50 feet west of Anasazi Drive.

The Metropolitan Police Department sent several units to assist with traffic control and evacuation, the statement said. A command center was set up in a park across the street from the fire with Las Vegas Fire Department, the Metropolitan Police Department and Southwest Gas Corp. working together to control the situation and end it quickly.

As many as 90 people were evacuated, spokesman Tim Szymanski said. Several streets were closed for a few hours.

Southwest Gas worked with fire personnel to shut the gas off to the area. As of 1:55 p.m., the gas was off and the residual gas in the line was burning off, Szymanski said.

As of 4:35 p.m., Southwest Gas Corp. was going door to door in the area where the leak was checking for other leaks, according to a tweet from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue. It was unclear Tuesday night whether the checks were continuing.

Southwest Gas is investigating the incident. No houses were involved and no injuries have been reported, the department said.

Contact Raven Jackson at rjackson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @ravenmjackson on Twitter. Contact Lawren Linehan at llinehan@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0381. Find @lawrenlinehan on Twitter.

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