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As Shelton firefighters and Eversource (Yankee Gas) personnel search for a suspected gas leak in the large Avalon Shelton residential complex on late Tuesday evening, Avalon Shelton residents are just hoping to get back inside their homes. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

The 250-unit apartment complex on Canal Street in downtown Shelton has been evacuated due to the gas leak.

As of about 11 p.m., Avalon residents had been standing outside in the cold waiting for about an hour, but most have now gone inside the lobby of the neighboring Birmingham condo building to keep warm.

Earlier, Jeff Norko and Liz Lopez had walked back to their Avalon unit after eating out in downtown Shelton to find most of their fellow residents standing outside, across the street from the Avalon entrance.

“We walked up to a huge crowd of people,” Norko said, speaking while inside the Birmingham lobby at just before 11 p.m. “They told us there was a grease fire and a gas leak.”

There had been a reported grease fire in the Avalon complex as well, but that no longer is a factor in the ongoing emergency response.

Norko and Lopez are just hoping to get back inside their home. “I work very early in the morning,” he said. “I’d like to get back in to get warm and go to sleep.”