Residents are being allowed to return to their homes after a gas leak forced evacuations in the block east of South Florida Avenue along Beacon Road and Palm Drive, officials report. 

Firefighters responded after a resident reported a strong smell of gas around 10:30 a.m. today, according to Lakeland Fire Department spokeswoman Janel Vasallo.

Responders discovered that construction workers had accidentally struck a four-inch gas line, causing the leak, and TECO Gas officials were able to repair it, according to news reports.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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