A gas leak at a downtown Columbus bar caused the area to be closed off to residents for about two hours.
Columbus Fire Department received a call at 8:32 a.m. Saturday from an employee at Casey Jewelers about a gas odor next door at Columbus Bar, 322 Fourth St., said Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the department. Firefighters arrived six minutes later at the establishment owned by Powerhouse Brewing Co., he added.
Firefighters discovered that the gas was coming from a burner left on overnight, Wilson said. Cory Barker, manager of Columbus Bar, who was on his way to work when contacted about the situation, said a pilot light blew out.
A high concentration of gas was detected, Wilson said, but it was so high that no chance of an explosion existed. When gas levels exceed an upper concentration level or fall below the lower threshold an explosion won’t occur, he added.
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However, the county’s emergency alert system was activated as a precaution, and residents were notified that the downtown area was closed because of a “major incident” and were advised to stay away.
Vectren turned off the gas meter to the bar, the doors to the establishment were opened and one of the fire department’s large ventilation fans was used to expel the gas, Wilson said.
The situation was resolved by 10:22 a.m., and the emergency alert system notified residents they could resume activities downtown, he added.
Afterward, Vectren began contacting local downtown businesses that use pilot lights for their heating systems to make sure they were working properly, Wilson said.
Columbus Bar opened for business about 45 minutes later than its usual 11 a.m. Saturday opening, Barker said.