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Gas back on at Marine Drive apartments

Natural gas service has been restored to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority’s Marine Drive apartments.

The BMHA said its crews Tuesday afternoon completed reconnecting stoves in the 86-unit Driftwood apartment building that had been off-line for most of the past 11 days.

The authority and its contractor were working on the problem since residents reported smelling gas on June 11.

In addition to replacing six large valves that were encased in asbestos, the BMHA and its contractor installed new shut-off valves and connections in the apartments, the authority said.

Also, it was determined that 20 stoves in the building were “operationally deficient.” Those stoves were not hooked up, and will have to be replaced by tenants, according to the BMHA.

“This situation has made us aware of the overwhelming number of antiquated stoves with standing pilot lights in use at Driftwood, and likely most of Marine Drive,” said Modesto Candelario, the BMHA assistant executive director.

A total of 54 stoves at Driftwood have standing pilot lights, which have been phased out of the appliance industry in favor of safer, electronic gas ignitions, BMHA officials said.