Gas leak above explosive limit prompts evacuation of business complex

ST. GEORGE — A St. George business plaza located at 969 N. 3050 East was evacuated Tuesday morning after an explosive level of natural gas was recorded in one of the businesses within the complex.

A St. George business plaza located at 969 N. 3050 East was evacuated after an explosive level of gas had accumulated in one of the businesses within the complex, St. George, Utah, Sept. 6, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News
A St. George business plaza located at 969 N. 3050 East is evacuated after an explosive level of gas had accumulated in one of the businesses within the complex, St. George, Utah, Sept. 6, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

Questar Gas officials initially responded to the scene on a report of a possible gas leak. Shortly after, the St. George Fire Department was requested to the scene at approximately 8:21 a.m. to secure the area.

“One of the units had enough gas in it that it was above the explosive limit, so we helped them ventilate out the buildings,” St. George Fire Capt. Scott Peacock said. “We evacuated the whole complex as a precautionary measure while we’re getting it down below that explosive limit.”

Approximately 12 businesses were evacuated, Peacock said, including a veterinary clinic and the animals the staff were tending to. Some customers of the clinic were asked to pick up their pets as a result.

A St. George business plaza located at 969 N. 3050 East was evacuated after an explosive level of gas had accumulated in one of the businesses within the complex, St. George, Utah, Sept. 6, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News
A St. George business plaza located at 969 N. 3050 East is evacuated after an explosive level of gas had accumulated in one of the businesses within the complex, St. George, Utah, Sept. 6, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

“Once it gets below that explosive limit, they’ll go in and find out where the leak is and get that fixed,” Peacock said, “and then we’ll be able to allow people back in their units.”

By 9:48 a.m., Peacock said all buildings were determined to be within safe range, and the evacuation was lifted.

Questar Gas workers at the scene said they believe that when a range hood vent had been turned on, it sucked the air out so quickly that it knocked out the pilot light, subsequently causing the accumulation of gas.

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

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • .... September 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    We are blessed to have the emergency personnel we have here. they do a grand job and we appreciate them.

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