FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Fire Department was called out this afternoon to respond after a motor vehicle accident caused a gas leak at an apartment building.
Fire Chief Fred Burrows said that shortly after 1:30 p.m., a carpet cleaning company was either just arriving or leaving an apartment building in the 9100 block of 93rd Ave. Burrows explained that the company vehicle impacted with the apartment building’s primary natural gas meter. The gas meter sustained significant damage in the collision, which included the detachment of the gas supply line from the ground to the meter itself, and the destruction of the meter’s regulator.
Burrows said that when fire crews arrived, gas was flowing freely out of the ground. Fire crews tripped the apartment’s fire alarm in order to quickly evacuate the building, helped by members of the RCMP, before laying down suppression hoses in case fire erupted.
After shutting off the gas supply with the help of Pacific Northern Gas crews, Burrows said that fire crews then searched every unit to ensure there was no lingering natural gas before allowing evacuees to return to their homes.
Burrows added that damage to the gas meter was substantial, and that the gas riser itself could also have been damaged. He says that it could be several hours before the building’s natural gas supply is restored.