The Portland Fire Department evacuated a dozen homes in the city’s East End Wednesday morning following a natural gas leak on Walnut Street.

The leak was reported around 10 a.m. at the intersection of Sheridan and Walnut streets by a construction crew that hit the gas line, said Capt. John Brennan of the Portland Fire Department.

Brennan said the fire department evacuated about a dozen people from their homes as a precaution while Unitil worked to secure the leak.

“Fortunately, many of the homes were already empty,” Brennan said.

The fire department left the scene around 11 a.m. after checking buildings to gas meters to make sure there was no residual gas buildup inside.

Sections of Walnut and Sheriden streets were closed for close to an hour.

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