Firefighters conduct controlled burn after gas leak reported at apartment complex

No injuries reported

HILLSBORO BEACH, Fla. – Firefighters conducted a controlled burn after a gas leak was reported Wednesday morning at an apartment complex in Hillsboro Beach, authorities said.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crews responded to the gas leak just before 6 a.m. at the Port De Mer condominiums at 1237 Hillsboro Mile after an underground 1,000 gallon propane tank developed a leak due to a faulty valve.

"Hillsboro Beach police officers identified the smell of what appeared to be gas emanating from the 1200 block of A1A," Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Michael Kane said. 

Sky 10 was above the scene as firefighters doused the side of a building with water to prevent it from catching fire.

"They used a fire hose to coat the side of the building (because) people inside of the building by the windows -- they can feel the heat," maintenance worker Elucier Liberea said. 

About a dozen apartment units were evacuated during the controlled burn as a precaution.

"The fire department had to burn off all the gas and empty the tanks," property manager Colleen Cooney said.

South Ocean Drive was shut down near Southeast 10th Street during the controlled burn. Several firefighters were on standby to keep residents safe.  

Officials said the gas cylinder is used to power a generator. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries as the towering flame burned off what was left in the tank.

Workers with the gas company are repairing the valve. Because the tank powered the building's back-up generator, residents never lost any of their utilities.

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