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Heat back on in Hayward after gas cutoff

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The heat is back on in Hayward, where a natural gas malfunction cut off service to 1,750 homes and businesses Thursday.

It was 25 below zero when a piece of equipment at a regulating station broke down about 6 a.m.

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We Energies fixed the problem right away. But everybody's gas lines had to be shut off and their pilot lights re-lit before service could resume.

Almost 1,000 customers had their heat back by 10 p.m. and the rest were expected to be back online by midnight.

Sawyer County authorities set up an emergency shelter but only a half-dozen people were there last evening.

Many folks stayed with friends and relatives. Some bought space heaters. And the rest had no trouble gutting it out.

Utility spokesman Brian Manthey said he didn't hear of anybody's house getting colder than 50 degrees.

It was a lot warmer last night than the previous day. It was only 1 below zero in Hayward at 3 a.m. today.

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