The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

October 14, 2013

Firefighters survive very busy night

CLINTON — Area firefighters had a busy Friday night, with a gas leak and a two-story residence fire.

Clinton Fire Department Battalion Chief Joel Atkinson said he had to sleep in Saturday after crews worked Friday night, into Saturday morning on the two calls. He said it is not often that two major incidents occur in one night.

“It was a very busy night,” Atkinson said.

Firefighters were called at 6:19 p.m. for a gas leak at an area behind the Clinton Public Library’s Lyons Branch, 105 Main Ave. Atkinson confirmed Sunday the leak occurred after a vehicle struck a gas meter in the alley.

Turning off the gas was delayed because the area was concrete, so Alliant Energy crews could not reach the shut off. Atkinson said if it had been at a residential area, Alliant could have dug up the yard.

Instead, workers had to go back to 23rd Avenue North and dig up an area with a backhoe to clamp it off. The company also shut off electricity in the area for approximately an hour.

“They would have had to jack-hammer the concrete out,” said Atkinson, about trying to reach it in the concrete area.

Firefighters evacuated businesses and residences in the area. The evacuation started in the 2300 block of North Second Street and the 2300 block of Roosevelt Street. Crews had to wait some time on the key holders for the area businesses.

“Some people weren’t home, some people were home,” Atkinson said.

Fran Moore was in her home of almost 28 years, 2303 Roosevelt St., on Friday night. At first, she and her neighbors watched everything, talking about the leak. She said she felt sorry for the firefighters and workers dealing with the leak.

“They had to stand their ground and do their duties,” Moore said.

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