Hawthorne residents returning home after methane gas leak

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Residents displaced after a well in Hawthorne started spewing methane gas almost two weeks ago began returning home on Wednesday.

Thirty-seven families had been evacuated after Golden State Water Company discovered methane had mixed with the water as it was working to close a retired well.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Anthony Akins said they began calling the families around 9:30 a.m. to begin the process of moving them back in.

"What we're doing is we're escorting them into their homes individually so that they can test the environment for gas and once the home is cleared and the gas company has helped them re-light their appliances, they're being allowed to remain in their home," Akins said.

 Akins said crews did a final pressure test late last night to make sure the well wasn't leaking methane and then permanently capped it. Crews will continue to decommission the well over the next few days, but Akins said he expected all residents to be back in their homes by Wednesday night, barring any other problems.

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