Crystal Mall store evacuated due to gas leak

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Waterford — More than 120 customers and employees had to be evacuated from the J.C. Penney store at the Crystal Mall Sunday afternoon due to a gas leak.

Firefighters from the Cohanzie, Quaker Hill and Oswegatachie departments initially responded to a call about an odor of gas inside the mall in the area of J.C. Penney, shortly after 1:30 p.m.

According to the Cohanize department, firefighters smelled an odor of gas outside of J.C. Penney upon arrival and found pockets of gas odors throughout the store even though gas meters registered no readings. Firefighters and mall security then evacuated and closed the store.

Firefighters investigated storerooms within J.C. Penney and discovered a vent pipe and heater malfunction, causing a heating unit to pump out raw fuel. Approximately 45 minutes after entering the store, firefighters located a shut off valve for the heating unit, and were able to close the valve with a wrench, securing the gas to the entire store.

Eversource arrived on scene shortly after, determined the gas was shut securely and J.C. Penney was allowed to reopen. The store had no heat until repairs could be made.

Editor's Note: This version corrects the spelling of J.C. Penney.


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