Oakdale emergency crews were busy Friday night, Feb. 7 around 8:30 p.m. when police and fire units were called out to the 400 block of S. Wood Avenue after a car crashed into a house.
When police arrived, they quickly determined a natural gas line to the residence was completely severed at the ground level and they had no immediate way to shut the flow off.
Oakdale Police Sergeant Brian Shimmel said a decision was made to evacuate the entire 400 block of Wood Avenue and all of King Court due to the possibility of a natural gas explosion from the leak.
Fire personnel from both Oakdale fire stations along with ambulance personnel staged in the area. Shimmel said he called in reserve officers and police CAPS volunteers to the scene to assist with traffic and crowd control and also free-up the three on-duty officers at the scene so they could handle others calls for service in the evening.
A temporary shelter was established for the displaced residents as workers from PG&E toiled with locating the shut off valve leading to the residence and the line for the service grid of the neighborhood.
According to Shimmel, around 10 p.m. the gas leak was contained and eventually shut off preventing further threats. The residents were allowed to return to their homes a short time later.
The driver of the car that crashed into the house, Manuel Dee Jimenez, 51, was eventually arrested for DUI and booked at Stanislaus County Jail.