Gas leaks prompt evacuation of entire apartment complex in Anderson

Mayor cites south side explosion as reason to act

ANDERSON, Ind. - More than 100 people were displaced when authorities ruled their apartment complex uninhabitable.

The Arbor Village Apartments in Anderson were evacuated after underground gas leaks were discovered under three of the complex's five buildings.

Further inspection by gas company Vectren found gas leaks in the remaining two buildings as well.

Vectren shut off gas lines to all five of the buildings.

With the gas furnaces inoperable, residents were relying on space heaters to keep warm, which was overloading the electrical system.

Officials said the overloaded electric and the gas leaks combined to create a perfect storm of a fire hazard, so evacuation was the safest option.

"She told me I was moving to another building because mine was condemned, and then they came back with the papers saying you got to go right now," said resident Betty Montgomery.

"Our biggest concern is that the area is safe," said Anderson Mayor Kevin S. Smith. "We want to make sure that something like the recent explosion (on the south side of Indianapolis) didn’t happen here."

The gas leaks will be repaired and the gas lines will be brought up to code. It is the landlord's responsibility to fix the gas leaks.

In the meantime, as many as 150 residents are being relocated to church shelters.

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