Natural gas leak causes evacuations

No reported injuries

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 6:45 a.m.

Yesterday just before 8:30 a.m., the Spokane Fire Department was dispatched to northwest Spokane for a hazardous materials incident involving a natural gas leak. Initial reports advised that a homeowner was attempting to remove a dead tree from his rear yard. It turned out the tree roots had become entangled in the gas service line that feed his home. The gas line was severed when the tree was pulled from the ground.

Upon arrival, crews found significant gas odor and leakage from the broken service line. They evacuated nearby homes and continued to monitor the structures to ensure they were safe from explosion. Firefighters established a safe evacuation zone and stood by with a charged protection lead while awaiting the arrival of Avista. A multifaceted command structure resulted in the quick mitigation of this incident.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The Spokane Fire Department and Avista utilities would like to remind the public that they are required to call 8-1-1 so that underground utilities can be appropriately marked before undertaking any digging or excavation work. Fines and penalties can be assessed if damage occurs to utility lines that were not properly located before beginning work on your projects.