FRESNO, Calif. - A gas was ruptured early Monday morning, while Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies cleared out a homeless encampment.
They cleared two property lots near Dudley and Lafayette Avenues. Deputies said the gas line was buried under debris.
They said about a dozen homeless people have been living on the property.
Neighbors said they are relieved that the homeless are out of the neighborhood because they said the smell and trash were too much to deal with on a day to day basis.
"It was a mess," said, a resident.
The resident is referring to the homeless encampment down the street from her house.
"We've had this problem for quite a while, we have reported it and around this area but nothing was done about it," said resident.
But Monday, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office took action.
"We have an excavator out here through a contract company because there's a lot of debris," said Sheriff Mims, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Civil Unit hauled away nine trailers from the lots, clearing up all the clothes, trash and tires left behind.
Beneath all the debris a contracted worker hit a gas line that was above ground.
"Once we got the call that it had been severed we came out here and squeezed it shut," said Denny Boyles, PG&E Spokesperson.
PG&E said residents nearby were not affected but James Medina, who lives next to the encampment said he had to leave his house for a short time.
"We just heard somebody safe get out we hit a gas line so we had to head down to our family's house down the street," said James Medina, a resident.
Medina said the gas leak paled in comparison to the smells and eye sore that he's use to dealing with.
"All types of hours they'd be burning fumes, burning copper, burning plastics," said Medina.
Medina said with the encampment cleared he and the neighbors finally have their neighborhood back.
"I'm so happy it's being clean, it looked horrible," said a resident.
The Sheriff's Office said they offered resources to those at the camp but only one person accepted the help. Deputies said the possessions of those at the camp will be held for 90 days in order to give them time to make arrangements to collect their belongings.
The Sheriff's Office said if anyone sees camps like this one to fill out a report and they will look into it.