About a dozen people were evacuated from buildings on the south side of the Fort Atkinson Fire Department and were sent to the city’s municipal building Tuesday morning.
Construction crews working on expanding the fire department building, at 128 Milwaukee Ave., struck a gas main at around 10 a.m., according to Fort Atkinson Fire Department Division Chief Tom Gerondale.
WE Energies responded by sending two crews, an electrical crew and a gas crew, to the site. Crews cleared the site, declaring it “made safe” around noon on Tuesday, WE Energies spokesperson Alison Trouy said.
Fort Atkinson Police Capt. Jeff Davis said the police department was called in to help keep traffic out of the area, which included closing the Robert Street bridge to traffic at about 10:45 a.m.
Residents and travelers were asked to avoid the downtown area within a block and a half radius around the fire department building until the area was made safe.
Areas north of the fire station were not evacuated because the wind was blowing the gas in a southwesterly direction, Gerondale said, adding that those working or living in buildings on the north side of the fire department were not in danger.
The gas leak will take time to clear, he said, because “They (WE Energies) have to shut off multiple valves.”
Along with Fort Atkinson fire and police personnel, one fire truck was called through mutual aid from the Jefferson Fire Department, Gerondale said.
“A gas main was struck during demolition work being done at the (fire station) property which caused damage to our equipment,” Trouy noted.
Crews stopped the flow of gas and were continuing to repair damage on Tuesday afternoon, she said.