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Ohio lake town fighting fires from natural gas

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Firefighters in an Ohio town were battling blazes at a home and an apartment building on Monday, after an apparent natural gas line problem caused fires in 20 homes and led to evacuations, officials said.

The more than 3,000 residents of Fairport Harbor were told to evacuate Monday morning as a result of over-pressurized gas lines. This led to long lines of traffic in the town along Lake Erie, 30 miles from Cleveland.

All residents have since been allowed to return to their homes. Mentor Deputy Fire Chief Tom Talcott said gas pressure is back to normal, and the Dominion East Ohio gas company will go door-to-door to check appliances.

Fairport Harbor Mayor Frank J. Sarosy told a local television station that one of the village's main gas lines appeared to be sending gas back into homes. Fires started in about 20 home furnaces. City schools and businesses are closed and no injuries have been reported.

The National Weather Service said the temperature in the area was in the 20s and a high of 26 degrees was expected in Fairport Harbor on Monday.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, reporting by Kim Palmer, Editing by Greg McCune)

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