Families Evacuated by Gas Leak Call

Some families have been staying away from home the past few evenings as their property is inspected after a report of a gas leak from two old wells in the area.

Erin Strouse, Ohio EPA spokeswoman, confirmed that at noon Tuesday the department was contacted through its spill hotline regarding a suspected oil and gas leak at Westchester and South Road and Atkinson Creek Road. The wells are owned by Tipka Energy and Development.

Strauss said her office was working from an initial and unverified pollution indicator report. The call was turned over to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which has jurisdiction over such matters. Calls to the ODNR were not returned Wednesday.

A resident of the area said his family was contacted by Tipka officials, who offered to pay for their stay at a hotel while the wells were closed. He said the wells have been a long-standing problem and the recent odors were overwhelming.

“If you were there (Wednesday), you would have choked,” the resident said.