Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton firefighters and New York State Electric and Gas responded to a natural gas leak at the Midtown Mall building.
The building at 83 Court Street was heavily damaged by a fire in 2010. Developers are working to turn it into student apartments with retail space.
According to NYSEG, a contractor was removing pipes from the building using a plasma torch. The contractor cut on the NYSEG side of a valved-off service line. The torch ignited gas but the fire was contained to the end of the service pipe.
A NYSEG crew shut off the service pipe at the street shutoff valve.
NYSEG received the call at 11:22 a.m. and was able to respond a minute later because it already had a crew working at nearby building downtown. The area was declared safe at 12:17 p.m.
As a precaution, the city evacuated buildings along Court Street from Chenango Street to State Street. The same area was closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the response.