Pullman Fire Department

PULLMAN, Wash. - Ten people had to be evacuated from eight residences in Pullman Friday after a contractor cut a natural gas pipeline on Sunnyside Hill.

According to the City of Pullman Fire Department, firefighters were notified at about 3:30 pm of the smell of natural gas around 200 SW Church Street. 

Crews notified Avista and cordoned off the area once they determined the severity of the leak.

Officials said a contractor had been using an excavator in the area and found the metal pipe. The contractor reported they didn't believe it was a natural gas line and started to cut the pipe, only to find a plastic, four-inch natural gas line inside.

An Avista supervisor said she expects crews to be working on the problem until about 9:00 pm and firefighters will be on the scene until the line is secure.

As of 6:30 pm, only three homes were cut off from natural gas and no injuries had been reported.