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Aug-08-2007 14:15printcomments

Gas Leak Evacuates Salem Hospital Psychiatric Building

The cause of the leak was determined to be a fitting that gave way while NW Natural Gas worked on the lines.

Natural gas leak in Salem, Oregon 8-8-07
Photo courtesy: Bill Holmstrom/Salem Fire

(SALEM, Ore.) - Northwest Natural Gas Employees were working on a 1-inch gas line in front of Salem Hospital's Psychiatric Building today when a fitting gave way, causing a gap in the line. It happened at 12:22 PM.

Salem Fire Spokesman Bill Holmstrom says gas started to enter the building where 20 patients and 20 employees were located and they were quickly evacuated. Salem Fire Department received the call about the natural gas leak at 1127 Oak Street SE @ Salem Hospital Psychiatric Building at 12:22 PM today.

Holmstrom says the first alarm sent 2 Engines, 1 Ladder Truck, and a Battalion Chief.

"First arriving firefighters detected gas inside this multi-story building. Fire fighters evacuated the business of approximately 40 people."

He says firefighters entered the building and began testing the area for gas fumes while providing ventilation throughout. Oak Street and part of 12th street was shut-down for approximately 45-minutes while crews dealt with the situation according to Holmstrom.

"The gas leak was stopped by NW Natural gas within 10-minutes of the department's arrival. Just after 1:00 PM firefighters determined that all the gas was removed from the building and it was safe for the occupants to return."

The cause of the leak was determined to be a fitting that gave way while NW Natural Gas worked on the lines.

No injuries were reported.

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just kidding.. August 9, 2007 2:31 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Joe.. you smell that? Smell what? I don't smell anything, you're crazy...

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.