Police investigate gas leak hazmat situation in Venice

People who lived in part of a Venice neighborhood were not able to get back into their homes Monday night.

Police and firefighters were working throughout the night to put a stop on a gas leak in house's backyard.

A large perimeter stretched three blocks in all directions indicating to neighbors they could not get into their homes.

FOX 11 spoke with a group of neighbors who stood outside for hours hoping for the yellow caution tape to come down.

"It's been since 1:30," said Joan Webber who evacuated. "I mean and now they're saying it could possibly be a long night."

They evacuated around 1:30 Monday afternoon when they all started to smell gas coming from Walgrove Avenue and Palms Boulevard.

"We could smell the gas a Goode portion of the day." Enid Hunsberger told FOX 11's Leah Uko.

More than 50 homes in the Venice neighborhood were evacuated after a gas company called in found suspicious cylinders in the backyard of a home on Walgrove Avenue.

"At some point this was tampered or altered or ruptured something that's without that meter," Detective Meghan Aguilar with LAPD said.

"But in some way it's not whole and it's not safe."

So as a precaution LAPD redirected people trying to return home while the Los Angeles Fire Department kept the perimeters in place.

"We understand that being out of your home is a huge inconvenience but our main priority is their safety," said Captain Erik Scott.

An evacuation shelter is being set up at Penmar Recreation Center at 1341 Lake Street, Venice, CA 90291.