NEW SALEM (KDKA) – Roughly 400 Columbia Gas customers were without heat for hours in New Salem and Fairbank, Fayette County overnight.

Larry Pishko noticed he didn’t have gas around 3 p.m. on Monday.

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“By the time they sent a repairman, we knew because down the road there were about 12 gas cars down the street,” Pishko said.

He says it took about 12 hours for his gas to turn back on around 3 a.m.

“We had some electric heaters and it was probably 50 degrees,” Pishko said.

As of noon, Columbia Gas officials said only 38 customers were still without service.

“We’re really asking the media’s help to get the word out that if you’re still without service, give us a call so we can perform safety checks, relight appliances and get you up and running,” Brynnly Schwartz with Columbia Gas said.

Officials say a gas main was struck by a private property owner in Uniontown on Monday, which caused the mass natural gas outage in the area.

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“We just really want to emphasize calling 811. Having utility companies come out and mark the lines because if the gas line had been marked, perhaps the situation could have been avoided,” Schwartz said.

Gas workers had to individually go door to door to manually turn each customer’s gas back on. Columbia Gas set up a warming shelter, but they say no one used it.

“Luckily we had a wood burner, so we were able to keep warm until they came about 3:30 to turn the gas back on,” Kelly Griglack said.

Officials said the private property owner is under investigation.

Columbia Gas crews will be staying at the New Salem Volunteer Fire Department until they get everyone’s gas turned back on.

If you need your gas turned on, you’re being asked to call 1-800-460-4332.

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