Natural Gas Line Struck by Workers Near Gonzaga

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Friday, December 6, 2019 at 12:16 p.m.

??At 07:34 AM this morning, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded to a 911 call reporting a 1-inch natural gas line inadvertently struck by construction workers near the Gonzaga University Campus. The callers stated that gas was "blowing" from the line close to Hamilton, just a few feet in the ground.

A large response from the SFD included the Hazardous Materials Team due to the anticipated needs of the incident and the complexity of the location of the incident. SFD leadership established unified command with the Police Department and Gonzaga Security to implement a plan that ensured the safety of the public/students and mitigated the leak so that business could be restored to campus and the areas surrounding Gonzaga. 

Gonzaga and the SFD have established pre-plans for emergencies on campus, and those plans were exercised to accomplish evacuating three dormitories (1350 students) to the COG where they were met and supported by staff. Students were able to eat breakfast and study with little disruption. Traffic was controlled to provide collateral routes for the morning commute to avoid the area near the leak. Utilities were controlled by Avista to the buildings containing the highest levels of natural gas to eliminate ignition potential and protect occupants and responders. 

The entire incident was safely mitigated within 2 hours and there were no injuries as a result of the event. The outstanding partnerships with Gonzaga and Avista were a primarily factor to the success of this morning's event--and I am truly thankful for their support.