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Natural-gas fire forces evacuations

| Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 12:00 p.m.

There was no immediate word of injuries or evacuations Wednesday night after a natural gas line apparently ruptured and caught fire on the North Side.

The fire at about 10:30 p.m. near Allegheny Avenue and Reedsdale Street forced police to block all streets in the vicinity just as fans were leaving the Pirates' game at PNC Park.

Firefighters said early indications are that a construction crew digging with a backhoe struck and ruptured the gas line and the fire erupted.

It was believed the backhoe also caught fire.

Firefighters allowed the flames to burn until gas company workers could shut off the gas because officials believed that minimized the danger of an explosion.

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