UNION, NJ - Union police have launched a criminal investigation in response to a gas leak at a home on Stratford Road.
 
According to Union Police Director Dan Zeiser, Union County Sheriff officers arrived at 444 Stratford Road Thursday morning to serve an eviction notice.  No one answered the front door.  When the sheriff's officers went around to the back, they smelled a strong gas odor, noticed the gas meter gauge spinning, and heard a hissing sound.
 
Union Police and Fire arrived on the scene and firefighters turned off the gas from the outside meter and police made entry into the home.  Zeiser said police found five lit candles in the basement.  The home was ventilated and the gas company was awaiting acceptable gas levels before entering the home.
 
Zeiser said the homes on both sides of 444 Stratford were evacuated.  The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be published as soon as it becomes available.