Gas Leak Causes Evacuations in Teller Arms Shopping Center
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Shoppers complain of the smell of gas inside a Grand Junction Big Lots store, that eventually leads to an evacuation of four stores on Tuesday.
Just after 1 p.m., the Grand Junction Fire Department responded to 2401 North Avenue for reports of a natural gas leak coming from Big Lots.
When authorities arrived on scene, neighboring stores started to evacuate their customers to ensure their safety.
A total of four Teller Arms Shopping Center stores evacuated, including Big Lots, Dollar Tree and Hastings.
The Grand Junction Fire Department reported a slightly elevated level of natural gas, but not an explosive level. They say this incident is a whole different scenario than last week's gas leak that ended in an explosion in a Grand Junction neighborhood.
However, NewsChannel 5 spoke with one store manager, who says he wasn't willing to take any chances.
“Because of recent events and getting the complaint about the gas smell, my instinct reaction was to get the girls to call 911 and get some people in there and check it out and make sure we are safe,” said Ed Bernal, store manager of Big Lots.
Fire officials say the cause of the leak came from a crack in an "a-track" on the roof of Big Lots.
The scene was cleared almost two hours later and customers and workers have since been allowed back into the stores.
NewsChannel 5 was first on scene.