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Seattle Fire handles gas leak outside E Olive Way commercial building

The streets stank of natural gas but there were no reported injuries or damage as Seattle Fire responded to a leaking gas pipe early Tuesday morning outside an E Olive Way commercial building.

A 911 caller reported the leak just before 4 AM at the 1700 block building. Seattle Fire units arrived and found a heavy smell of gas coming from what was described as a small leak near a meter.

Once the leak was sealed, firefighters searched the commercial building’s upper and lower levels and a nearby residential building but found no significant concentrations of leaked gas, according to SFD radio dispatches. There were no evacuations during the response but E Olive Way was closed for around an hour while crews checked out the area.

In the wake of the March 2016 gas leak explosion in Greenwood that destroyed several businesses, leaks in commercial areas with aging infrastructure draw increased concern. Puget Sound Energy was called to the scene to “secure” the leak and “there was no danger to the public at the time,” a Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS. State regulators found that PSE violated safety rules, leading to the Greenwood explosion.

The upper level of E Olive Way building where Tuesday’s leak occurred was formerly home to Zhu Dang restaurant which went out of business in fall of 2015 and has remained empty since. The lower level of the building includes a collection of small businesses including the Artful Dodger tattoo parlor.

We’ve asked PSE for more information on what caused the leak.

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