Attleboro, MA – When there is a black cloud, a silver lining can sometimes be found.

That’s what happened late Friday when firefighters who were working to secure and remove a vehicle that struck a home on Emory Street discovered a natural gas leak that prompted the evacuation of seven houses.

The timing of the incidents — which officials indicated were unrelated — likely prevented a devastating incident in a residential neighborhood.

Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Perkins said a technician from Columbia Gas was called to the scene to assist firefighters at 124 Emory St. because the gas meter for the home, which had been struck by a vehicle around 11 p.m. Friday, was inside the basement.

While the technician was checking for a gas leak, he detected gas in the ground, outside of the house.

Further testing found elevated natural gas levels in the basements of two nearby houses on Torrey Street.

When the technician tested gas levels inside of manholes, he found extremely high levels, Perkins said.

Firefighters opened up the manhole covers to release disburse the gas until it could be shutoff, he said.

A total of seven nearby homes on Torrey Street were evacuated around 12:47 a.m.

While Perkins said he didn’t believe the car crashing into the home and the gas issue were related, “It’s a miracle if they were unrelated that the event happened. It saved Torrey Street.”

Saturday afternoon, a section of Torrey Street remained closed as gas crews continued to work on the gas leak.