Gas leak shuts down one block Tuesday afternoon

Lincoln Fire & Rescue had to deal with a gas leak in downtown Lincoln Tuesday afternoon.

LFR said it happened around 1 p.m. when a company working on a renovation project hit a gas line they thought it had been disconnected.

"We did have explosive levels of natural gas in the area, so we did an evacuation of the north side of P Street for the whole half a city block," said Battalion Chief Leo Benes.

Benes said took a while to get it under control because Black Hills had to dig to get to the shutoff valve.

"Unlike the typical residential installation, a lot of the meters in the downtown area are in the basement," Benes said.  "So therefore, there’s not a meter to shut off out on the street.  And because of that we had to find a shutoff that was somewhat buried…out in the parkway along the street."

LFR said natural gas is very flammable.  They said if you ever smell gas, evacuate the building and call firefighters.  Don’t try to look for the leak yourself.