A gas line in a Main Street men's clothing shop snapped Monday afternoon, prompting Middletown Police and Fire to evacuate a two-block section of the street for about an hour.
Just before 2:30 p.m., police received a call on a gas leak in the Ramani's Clothiers building at 308 Court Street and immediately closed Main from Washington to College Street to traffic.
Deputy Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger said one of the staff members had unknowingly hung a number of suits on a gas line and the weight caused the line to break at Ramiani's, which is going out of business.
"They're getting ready to close, so they hung a bunch of suits off the gas line and the gas line snapped," he explained. "There was no outdoor shut-off so we had to wait for Yankee Gas to get there and shut everything down."
Kronenberger said the street was evacuated as a precaution and the situation, which could have been been much worse, was under control when Yankee Gas workers arrived.
"We had some pretty high levels of gas. There was a lot of reason for concern, that’s why we ended up closing down the street. We eventually closed most of that block. With a live gas main blowing gas inside a structure, there was a lot of potential" for danger.
"If it was in the wintertime, it would have been a little bit tougher maybe, because of the possibility of a hot water heater or furnace; something kicking on. We were lucky in that circumstance," Kronenberger said.