Basalt gas leak forces evacuation

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” A natural gas leak in a building forced the evacuation of 30 to 40 employees at Total Merchant Services in Basalt Tuesday afternoon, according to officials with the fire department.

The leak was reported at about 12:20 p.m. and spurred workers to leave the building. The leak was detected by maintenance men who were working at an office in the building at 305 Gold Rivers Court, along Two Rivers Road. The maintenance workers had a gas monitor and traced the leak to a space upstairs, between the roof and a dropped ceiling, according to Jerry Peetz, deputy chief of the Basalt Fire Department. “They found elevated levels of gas,” he said.

The fired department responded with 14 volunteer firefighters, two fire engines and a ladder truck. The workers from Total Merchant Services were directed away from the building and a portion of Two Rivers Road was blocked while firefighters checked the structures. The firefighters turned off the gas and ventilated the building. The scene was turned over to Source Gas a short time later for repair of the leak. The gas company was going to determine when the workers could re-enter the building.

Peetz said gas leaks must be treated seriously because of the threat of explosion. It was fortunate the leak occurred and was detected during the day so gas didn’t build up over night, he said.


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