The Bellevue Fire Department sealed a natural gas leak downtown without incident today. At 12:04 p.m., firefighters crimped a broken two-inch gas line at the 11100 block of Northeast 10th Street, after evacuating nearby high-rises.
The line was reportedly broken when subcontractors for Puget Sound Energy were searching for a gas line to tie in for a new construction site. Multiple people called the dispatch center around 10:20 a.m., to report a strong odor in the area.
Nine units from the Bellevue Fire Department, assisted by two units from the Kirkland Fire Department -- a total of 35 fire department personnel -- came to the scene. The first engine arrived at the scene within four and a half minutes.
Emergency crews from PSE arrived on the scene to help mitigate the emergency. Working together, the Bellevue Fire Department and PSE evacuated three high-rise buildings and sheltered occupants of a four-story senior living apartment building. Bellevue Police closed the surrounding streets to traffic.
The buildings were checked from top to bottom for dangerous levels of gas. The ventilation systems in were set to stop the flow of outside air. Firefighters readied hoses for use as a precaution while crews entered the site of the leak.
After the leak was sealed and air quality readings in surrounding buildings showed no detectable levels of natural gas, occupants were allowed to return. There were no injuries reported.
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