By Jan Carabeo, Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A major gas leak in South Philadelphia forced the evacuation of six homes early this morning.

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Officials directed 17 people to leave their homes on Snyder Avenue around 2:40am because of a leak in a four-inch gas main.

Neil, one of the displaced residents, woke up to the commotion.

“Someone’s just knocking on the door pretty loud. I didn’t really know what was going on. I looked outside, saw the fire truck. So I opened up the door and figured out there’s a gas leak,” he said.

Crews made progress on the leak through the early morning.  Around 4:30am, about ten residents were allowed to start returning to their homes.

Captain William Dixon of the Philadelphia Fire Department says there was a very high natural gas reading in the air when the leak was discovered.

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“Fire department meter readings, we got 60% natural gas reading in the air,” he said. “With that we automatically take the stance of evacuating homes certainly as a precaution. You never know for an explosion purposes, fire purposes.”

Seven people were still left displaced after 4:30am. South Philly High School was opened as a warming center for people who couldn’t yet return to their homes.

Around 5:30am, only two people had yet to return to their homes. Crews made steady progress throughout the morning.

By 6am, the gas levels had dissipated and all of the displaced residents were allowed to head back to their homes.

No one was injured due to the gas leak.

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