MFD, MGE Responding To Gas Leak In Downtown Madison

Incident Type: 
Gas Leak
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 8:48am
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 8:50am
Wisconsin Ave. & W. Johnson St.
Madison, WI

12:26 PM: E. Johnson St., W. Dayton St., N. Carroll St., and Wisconsin Ave. reopened and shelter-in-place orders at nearby buildings were lifted around 11:35 a.m., after MGE and the Madison Fire Department's Hazardous Incident Team determined it was safe for the public to re-enter the area. This significant gas leak occurred after a three-inch gas main was compromised during construction activities in the former MATC building. Some time after gas service was shut down, on-scene crews were advised a piece of construction equipment might still be running inside the building. Firefighters and Incident Command worked closely with MGE to determine when it would be safe to enter the building to check on this piece of equipment. The equipment was located and turned off. The MFD HIT proceeded to check the entire building to ensure all areas were thoroughly ventilated before advising it was safe for traffic to pass through the area. Madison Fire turned the scene over to MGE at approximately 11:45 a.m.

11:25 AM: The former MATC building, where the leak occurred, has been ventilated. Gas service remains shut down. MFD units are beginning to clear the scene. Roads remain closed but are expected to re-open soon.

10:30 AM: Safety perimeters are still in place in downtown Madison. Madison Fire continues to work with MGE to monitor natural gas levels inside the former MATC building on N. Carroll Street. Roads will reopen when it is safe to pass through the area. We expected closures to remain in place for at least another half-hour (as of 10:30 AM).

Update date: 
01/23/2020 - 12:26pm

The public is asked to avoid the area of W. Johnson Street, W. Dayton Street, N. Carroll Street, and Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Madison as multiple agencies respond to a reported natural gas leak.

The MFD was dispatched at 8:48 a.m. after a contractor reportedly struck a main gas line near the old MATC building located on Wisconsin Avenue between W. Johnson and W. Dayton Streets. Gas service to the site was shut down at approximately 9:00 a.m.

All workers on site at the building have safely evacuated, are accounted for, and are sheltering off-site. Firefighters are also surveying nearby buildings for the presence of natural gas. At this time, no mass evacuation is underway. There are no injuries reported.

With the help of Madison Police, a safety perimeter is in place in the locations described above. All vehicular traffic in the area is prohibited, and motorists are asked to choose alternate routes.

This report will be updated as soon as additional information becomes available.

Posted 01/23/2020 - 9:24am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)