Memorial Union Evacuated Briefly Thursday Night; No Gas Leak Found
Madison, WI 53706
The Memorial Union and Terrace were evacuated for a period of time Thursday night after an employee struck a pipe, believed at the time to be a natural gas line.
Evacuation was already in progress as Engine Company 5 responded at 10:18 p.m. Firefighters proceeded to the area of Strada restaurant, where a manager advised an employee was cleaning some of the stainless steel panels above the stovetop and struck a pipe when putting one of the panels back in place. Hearing a hissing sound, the employee was concerned this was the sound of natural gas escaping.
A handheld air monitor used by Engine Co. 5 indicated no readings of natural gas, and instead the crew determined the pipe in question appeared to belong to the hood vent and extinguishing system, not a natural gas line.
MGE responded and confirmed this was not a natural gas line, and that no natural gas leak was present. UWPD invited patrons to re-enter the building.
Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)