Residents in West Whittier were surrounded by a natural gas leak Thursday morning, prompting officials to evacuate more than two dozen homes.

About 75 people from 32 homes were asked to go to the Phelan Language Academy at 7150 Cully Ave. while crews tried to stop the leak in a nearby neighborhood.

One resident recalled being home with his wife around 1:30 a.m. when he noticed a smell.

Whittier gas leak
Officials respond to a gas leak in Whittier on Sept. 14, 2023. (Key News TV)

“Yes, the smell and the big noise around 1:30 … Officers came up and asked us to evacuate the area,” Manuel Covarrubias said.

Video showed a cloud of compressed gas coming from the street where a large main apparently broke.

As of 4:30 a.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Siok said gas was still leaking from the pipe.

“We’re looking at a four-hour window now,” said Siok, who added that crews were “just trying to be safe and efficient in what they’re doing.”

By about 8:30 a.m., residents were back home. They were evaluated and reported no medical issues, Siok said.

The cause of the leak was still being investigated.

The public was asked to avoid the area around the 7500 block of Vicki Drive to allow public utility crews to continue their repair work.

Residents can contact the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station at 562-949-2421 for resources and other information.