"They told us we had to get out, that if it goes it's going to be bad," said Carol Lanni, local employee.
One man left so quickly he didn't have to time to grab a pair of shoes. Another was worried sick while he waited for permission to get his dog still in his home.
"They told very little. They said don't worry about it, basically is what they'd said," said Gloria Gilman, resident.
The gas leak was reported around 4 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of 10th and Christian streets.
Neighbors say a man was working on hot water heater and hit gas line. Held it together until crews arrived. @6abc— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) October 23, 2016
Neighbors say a contractor accidentally hit a gas line while working on a water heater. He held it together until crews arrived.
Forty-five firefighters responded along with 11 apparatus.
"And you'll see that they're strategically placed. They're standing on either side of the street. They are hooked to the hydrants ready to the deliver water if need be," said Philadelphia Fire Department Capt. Clifford Gilliam.
Residents on both sides of 11th and Alder streets were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
PECO also responded to shut the power off before Philadelphia Gas Works could get to work.
"I came here to have dinner with my daughter because it's her birthday, and I brought her a gorgeous cake and she made dinner and guess what no power, no cake," said Barbara Laskin of Havertown.
"The biggest concern is that the gas doesn't build up so they have the house ventilated. You can probably smell the gas. It's actually a good thing. The gas is actually venting out into the air and it's being dissipated," said Gilliam.
Gas leaked for three hours before neighbors were able to return to their homes.
The leak has been handled, but crews remained on the scene Sunday night, replacing the main.
No injuries were reported.