Gas leak scare evacuates shopping center

A gas leak scare temporarily evacuated a Fort Dodge shopping center in the 3000 block of First Avenue South Tuesday morning.

Fort Dodge Fire Department responded to the call at 11:27 a.m., finding no flammable vapors in the area after checking it with meters.

Stores evacuated on their own out of precaution were given the all-clear to return to their business about 15 minutes later. Stores in the center include Dollar Tree, Sally’s Beauty Supply and Gamestop.

“We believe it was sewer gas,” coming up from the dry plumbing, said Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter. “The trap was dried out, letting sewer gas into (the stores.)”

Hergenreter said some water was pumped into the dry plumbing, solving the issue.