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Media Advisory

Gas Leak Forces Evacuation of Businesses

For immediate release: June 18, 2012

WHEN:           June 18, 2012

WHERE:         108 S. Washington Street

WHO:             Alexandria Fire Department

WHAT:           At 11:42 am, the Alexandria Fire Department responded to 108 South Washington Street for a report of an odor of natural gas inside the building.  Construction workers were working in the basement of the building when they noticed an odor of what they described as natural gas.  Arriving firefighters detected an odor of something in addition to high levels of carbon monoxide in the basement.  Six businesses in the 600 block of King Street and the 100 block of South Washington Street were found to have elevated levels of carbon monoxide.  All six buildings were evacuated.  The 600 block of King Street was closed to traffic in both directions.  Northbound lanes of South Washington Street were reduced to one lane in the 100 block of South Washington Street while firefighters ventilated the buildings and the gas company attempted to locate the source of the odor and the carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide levels returned to normal by 2:00 pm and the building occupants were permitted to reoccupy the buildings shortly afterward.  Fire Department equipment began clearing the scene at 2:15 pm.  The area streets were reopened afterward.  The Gas Company remained on the scene investigating.

There were no reported injuries during the incident.  The cause of the odor and the carbon monoxide was not determined while the fire department was on the scene.  Washington Gas Company is handling the investigation.

For more information, contact Robert B. Rodriguez, Chief Fire Marshal / Community Services Officer / Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.5217 or