The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 10, 2014

UPDATE: Streets now open up to traffic around Lafayette Apartments

Officials working to get residents back into building

By Brenden West
Assistant Editor

CLINTON — The Clinton Fire Department and Alliant Energy have both confirmed that the gas leak that occurred at the Lafayette Apartment complex this morning is under control.

Streets around the building were opened up to traffic around 12:30 p.m today, as well.

During a press conference at the Clinton Central Fire Station, Battalion Chief Fred Roling detailed the situation. The specific cause of the leak remains unknown. Streets surrounding the building, located at 143 Sixth Ave. South, Clinton, remain blocked off while Alliant and Clinton firefighters continue work to make the facility safe for reentry.

"It sounds like we're going to be there until this afternoon, possibly, before people can get back in their apartments," Roling said.

The fire department initially responded to a call for a water leak at the complex at 2:21 a.m. this morning. When firefighters arrived on the scene, Roling said they detected a gas odor and immediately sounded a second alarm. Firefighters exited the building and called for backup. Ten additional firefighters showed up.

"At that time it was deemed necessary to evacuate the building," Roling said.

Firefighters evacuated 38 occupants at the time. Eight occupants were taken to the Victory Center Rescue Mission while others kept warm at the nearby Sisters Cafe. Roling reported there were no injuries from the incident.

Glenn Appler, representing Alliant, said his crew worked this morning to install a "bypass" so that the leak could be contained and would not affect surrounding facilities. It is unknown whether the gas leak and the water leak are directly related.

"Once the repairs are made we'll be turning the building back over to the fire department," Appler said.

He confirmed other buildings were not affected.

Clinton County Emergency Management, the Clinton Police Department, Clinton County Dispatch and the Clinton MTA assisted in the incident.