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Gas leak evacuates city building

June 04, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

A downtown Hagerstown office building was partially evacuated Monday morning due to a natural gas leak.

Employees from the second floor of 11 Public Square were evacuated for about 15 minutes after they smelled gas in their office and called for help at about 9:15 a.m.

"There was a very strong odor when we came in this morning," said Ruth Hudspeth, an employee at the Civil War Preservation Trust office.

A Columbia Gas worker soon found a "very minor" gas leak originating at the rooftop gas furnace, Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Horn said.

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"It sounded worse than what it really was," he said.

Firefighters used fans to ventilate the building on the corner of North Potomac and East Washington streets while gas company worker repaired the leak, Horn said.

Fire police closed one lane of North Potomac Street from Franklin Street to Washington Street, and both lanes of West Washington Street from Jonathan Street to Potomac Street, while firefighters worked at the scene.

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