Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 9:38am
A severed natural gas line inside of a business caused the evacuation of several buildings and the closure of Williamson Street late Tuesday morning.
The Madison Fire Department responded to 1220 Williamson Street for a reported gas leak at 11:19 a.m. When Engine 3 arrived they were met by Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) crews who were already on scene. MGE reported that their gas meter indicated high levels of natural gas inside the building. The call was upgraded to a full structure fire response and additional fire units were dispatched to assist Engine 3.
Several blocks of Williamson Street were quickly closed to vehicle and foot traffic. The street remained closed for about two hours. Three buildings on Williamson Street and one on Wilson Street were evacuated. MGE disconnected the gas and electric service to 1220 Williamson Street and two adjacent buildings.
Firefighters had to use a PA system on the fire truck to direct two people to leave the building where the gas leak occurred. These two occupants were seen walking around inside the building on the second floor. Firefighters could not safely enter the building to complete the evacuation due to the explosive atmosphere inside.
Firefighters and MGE crews stood by while the gas vapors were ventilated from the building using a combination of fans and natural ventilation from the wind. Once the readings on the gas meters reached a safe level, the street was reopened and occupants were allowed into the buildings.
No injuries were reported at the scene.
Please visit Madison Gas and Electric's website for information on natural gas safety:
- Eric Dahl, 608-261-9845