Firefighters and police responded before noon Tuesday to a reported gas leak on South Nash Street near downtown Hillsborough.
Orange Rural Fire Department crews and Hillsborough police officers responded to the call after a piece of heavy equipment being used in renovation work at the Old Bellevue Mill backed over a meter, breaking a three-inch gas line, Hillsborough spokesman Jonathan Rickard said.
Firefighters evacuated a two-block area of homes and retail businesses as a precaution, and Hillsborough police set up a perimeter around the area, Rickard said. The line was shut off and the area reopened before 12:30 p.m., he said.
Emergency officials said the concentration of gas in the air was not measured at dangerous levels.
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The mill, at 202 S. Nash St., was the site of a fire last year that destroyed one of four buildings.