News short: Natural gas odor leads to Starbucks evacuation

Starbucks employees and patrons were evacuated after a gas odor was reported in the store, St. George, Utah, Dec. 23, 2014 | Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Starbucks Coffee Company employees and customers were temporarily evacuated in St. George Tuesday afternoon after an employee smelled a natural gas odor inside the store.

At about 4:11 p.m., the St. George Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and Questar Gas responded to the Starbucks location at 158 N. Red Cliffs Drive after an employee smelled gas in the building and reportedly developed a headache because of the odor, St. George Fire Capt. Rick Nelson said.

(report continues below)

Videocast by Holly Coombs, St. George News

All Starbucks employees and customers were evacuated from the store while Questar responders evaluated the gas connection, which they ultimately found had no problem.

“It may have been the smell from a natural gas vehicle going through the drive-up window,” Nelson said.

The employee who originally complained of a headache was checked out by Gold Cross Ambulance responders on scene and declined further medical care. All Starbucks employees were able to go back to work, Nelson said.

“Everything is wonderful,” he said. “(Customers) can go in and buy all the espresso they need.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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  • Koolaid December 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Hoof Hearted?

  • Justme..... December 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    That poor employee, who did the right thing, has got to be red faced….and terrified for their job…tonight. Glad it was a falst alarm. I’ll be in later for another bag of Christmas Blend!!!

  • Evil twins mommy December 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    This could have been a tragedy but it turned out to be a decision to error on the side of caution. The Starbucks employees did a wonderful job of protecting the lives and welfare of the customers and themselves may God bless each and every one of them.. Merry Christmas everyone

  • Joe Smith December 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Someone may have been a lil gassy that day, so no reason they wouldn’t have smelled some natural gas. Not really a reason to panic and cause a flight…

    • Koolaid December 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      The smell wasn’t the reground coffee beans. It probably was more likely a plate load of lima and navy beans and some refried beans with hot sauce that someone ate that caused the nauseating eye-watering, nose-burning experience.

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