ST. PETERSBURG Several blocks and businesses in west St. Petersburg have reopened after being closed for several hours because of a gas leak.
The leaking gas main was discovered about 10:15 a.m. in an alley near First Avenue South and 73rd Street.
Firefighters evacuated the shopping center on the south side of Central Avenue, between 72nd and 73rd Street, and the Shell gas station on Park Street closed. Central Avenue, between Park and 73rd streets, was closed to traffic.
The effected streets and businesses have reopened, according to St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue.
TECO crews were able to fix the leak about 2 p.m., company spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said.
The main was leaking "profusely," according to the fire department. Witnesses reported a strong smell of gas in the area.
The leak started while TECO crews were repairing an existing leak in the line, Jacobs said. An investigation of what caused the initial leak is ongoing.