Energy News Today

46 people evacuated following natural gas leak near Bloomington strip mall – St

ST. GEORGE — At around 5 p.m. on Monday, firefighters and police responded to reports of a gas leak at a small shopping plaza off Pioneer Road. 

Emergency personnel talk with a local business owner as they secure the area following a natural gas leak, St. George, Utah, Dec. 13, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

St. George Fire Department took control of the incident and began coordinating an evacuation after Dominion Energy technicians identified potentially dangerous levels of natural gas in some nearby businesses, said Battalion Chief Robert Hooper.

“We assisted in the evacuation and kept the area secure while they called in some specialists to shut off the gas,” Hooper said. “They detected gas, but they were really just worried because the breeze was blowing that way. It was caused by a leaky valve in the pump house itself, and they were able to shut that off.”

Located between the Bloomington Walmart and I-15, the strip mall — which houses Angel Nails, All American Cloggers and Fantastic Sams — was adjacent to a high-pressure pump house supplying natural gas to that area of the city. 

Firefighters cordoned off the parking lot and prevented entrance to the area while technicians addressed the leak. Hooper said 46 people were evacuated until the area was deemed safe at around 5:25 p.m. 

There were no injuries and no reports of anyone feeling ill before or during the evacuation. 

A battalion chief’s vehicle forms part of the barrier enclosing the evacuated premises of a strip mall in Bloomington, St. George, Utah, Dec. 13, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

Dominion Energy technicians were able to bypass the faulty valve, so there was no interruption in service to the surrounding area. 

An employee at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which shares a parking lot with the pump house and strip mall, said the eatery was also tested and deemed safe prior to the evacuation. As a precaution, the owner turned off the grills and smoker so there would be no open flames while the leak was fixed.

Hooper shared the following words of caution for those dealing with gas leaks in the future:

“If you have a gas leak in your home, it’s important to not hang out inside and call Dominion if you think you have any issues with gas appliances or your carbon monoxide alarms going off,” Hooper said. “Especially this time of year when people are clicking on their heaters and their fireplaces and using all that stuff, just be aware of all of it.”

This report is based on statements from emergency personnel and other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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2021-12-13 20:50:43

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