Downtown Natural Gas Leak

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4:41 p.m.

Before midnight on Tuesday, 4/27/2021, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) was dispatched to 800 W Spokane Falls Blvd for a hazardous materials incident involving a natural gas leak. Initial reports were that a vehicle had struck the north side of the Nordstrom building with an associated smell of natural gas. The first arriving SFD Engine Company discovered a single-vehicle motor vehicle accident and a significant gas leak involving a 2" natural gas line. The vehicle had struck and severed the main service meter for Nordstrom. Due to the mechanism of the meter sheer, SFD personnel were unable to shut off the flow of gas. The occupant or occupants of the vehicle fled the scene before SFD's arrival. 

 It was approximately 2 hours before the flow of gas could be remotely shut off by Avista crews. Due to the duration of the gas flow, there was a migration of gas into both Nordstrom and River Park Square. SFD crews spent hours monitoring gas levels as well as ventilating both buildings. In total, Nordstrom, River Park Square, Old City Hall, and current City Hall were all evacuated, monitored, and ventilated. 

 Luckily, the incident occurred at a late hour resulting in minimal evacuations and disruption of traffic. In all, 29 firefighters responded to the incident, and there were no reported injuries to firefighters or civilians.