Gas leak results in evacuations at Dixie Commons; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE – Four buildings at the Dixie Commons commercial offices were evacuated Tuesday morning because of a gas leak.

The St. George Fire Department was dispatched to Dixie Commons, 1600 S. Dixie Drive, around 9:10 a.m. after it was initially reported that a backhoe had struck a gas service line, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said. Upon their arrival however, the fire crews discovered that a boring machine had impacted the gas line underground.

Questar Gas was also called to the scene and they found the point of the leak in between two of the buildings in the complex, Guard said.

As the gas was seeping into the ground in the area of the two buildings, Questar asked the Fire Department to start evacuating people from those structures as a precaution.

As we progressed through the incident, Questar wanted additional buildings evacuated due to the fact large quantities of gas was seeping into the ground,” Guard said.

Approximately 40 people from seven businesses were evacuated from four buildings overall, Guard said. Some people left the area before being asked, as well.

“Right when the Fire Department came, a bunch of employees said, ‘I’m out,’ even though we weren’t being evacuated,” Jess Larsen, an employee of Velocity Webworks who was was evacuated, said.

The situation was a little scary, she added, as the small of gas was beginning to permeate the building.

Upon evacuation, some people were stuck at the scene for a time as their cars were in a portion of the parking lot that have been blocked off while a Questar crew tended to the leak. They were eventually able to get to their cars after the gas supplying the complex was shut off around 9:45 a.m.

Once the gas was shut off, the St. George Fire Department went on standby, Guard said. The standby fire crew was released by 1 p.m., though the Questar crew remained on scene. It was originally estimated it would take between two and three hours to fix the leak and for the gas that seeping into the soul to no longer be a danger.

No one reported any health complications in connection with the gas leak, Guard said. People began to be allowed to return to the evacuated businesses by early afternoon.

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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