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Hagerstown church, daycare center reopen after brief evacuation

November 15, 2011
  • A firetruck is pictured outside Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Hagerstown on Tuesday morning. The church and its day care center were evacuated after an odor of natural gas was reported.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

HAGERSTOWN — Emmanuel United Methodist Church was evacuated after a report of a natural gas odor in the building Tuesday morning, Captain Adam Hopkins of the Hagerstown Fire Department said. Nobody was injured.

An investigation revealed that a pilot light on a stove in the kitchen of the church was out, Hopkins said. That caused the odor, and a person inside the church reported it.

The church at 802 Summit Ave. was hosting its weekly Mother's Day Out daycare program for children between the ages of 15 months and four years.

Police responded to the report at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Three firetrucks from the Hagerstown Fire Department arrived on the scene and police began directing traffic at the intersection of Summit Avenue and West Howard Street.

The church reopened after firefighters finished their investigation, and the area was cleared by 10 a.m. Tuesday.

A crew from Columbia Gas is at the church working to fix the problem, Hopkins said.

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— Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

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