AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — First responders have evacuated residents from homes and are closing streets around the area of a natural gas leak in Aurora.

The Aurora Police Department initially notified the public of a reported gas leak in the 16500 block of East Baltic Place at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Five minutes later, Aurora Fire Rescue confirmed the gas leak and the evacuations of five homes.

Additional homes on East Iliff Place have also been cleared since then.

Police have closed access to South Naples Way and South Norfolk Street from Iliff Avenue, and have asked drivers and residents to avoid the area.

Xcel Energy is on scene and expects to have the leak shut down by 6 p.m. At that time, all residents but those of three homes will be allowed to return, according to Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz. Residents of those three East Baltic Place homes still face lengthy repairs and re-establishment of service.

Stutz said a possibility cause of today’s leak might be tree roots in a front yard.

This location is less than a mile from the site of an explosion from a “gas-fed fire” that destroyed two patio homes in a retirement community last month. One person was killed.

The preliminary investigation of that incident suggests a contractor’s drilling operations may have caused the explosion.

 

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