MONSON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Columbia Gas is still monitoring gas lines in Monson and Palmer tonight.

The gas company says there are no safety concerns in those areas.

Columbia Gas spokesperson Sheila Doiron said that around 1 p.m. Tuesday, a gas control monitor indicated a reading that was slightly above the maximum pressure for that line.

That monitor reading lasted only a few minutes.

Doiron noted that there is no ongoing safety concern at this time and customers can continue using their gas.  She noted that this system has protections on meters to prevent over-pressurization from entering a home or business.

After the explosions and fires this past September in the Merrimack Valley, people who live in Palmer and Monson were not taking things lightly.

"I am just glad the fire department is," Monson resident Walter Norman tells us. "So close and that they are just down the road."

Walter lives on Main Street in Monson, right next door to a home whose owners called 911 after smelling gas.

"They are probably really nervous, because," continued Norman. "A lot of kids live in that big house, a lot of little kids. I always see them outside playing."

Monson Fire Chief Laurent McDonald tells Western Mass News, when Columbia Gas notified him about the pressurization issue, fire crews went to the Main Street home to assess the issue.

"We used our meters to determine that," says Chief McDonald. "There is no carbon monoxide or gas inside the facility and we have cleared the occupants to go inside."

Chief McDonald says, no matter where you live, if you're alarmed by the smell of gas, call the fire department.

"We encourage citizens," stated Chief McDonald. "If they do smell anything or have any concerns, give us a call, because that's what we are here to do, to answer their concerns and make sure they are safe."

Meantime, Walter Norman is glad his neighbors are safe.

"After what happened," Norman says in reference to the gas explosions that occurred in the Merrimack Valley. "You got to check those things out. That was all horrific. All those houses that blew up."

Crews will be out in parts of Monson and Palmer until approximately 11 p.m. conducting a walking survey of the area to follow-up and check the infrastructure.

Columbia Gas spokesperson Aimee Henderson tells us that, as of 9:00 p.m., crews have completed 75% of their required safety checks.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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