BELLEVUE (KDKA) – A row of businesses in Bellevue were evacuated Sunday morning for a natural gas leak.
According to Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Dailey, firefighters responded to the Family Dollar on the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue shortly after 10:00 a.m.
A manager called 911 after customers told him they smelled gas.
“It was really mild actually and the problem is, it was in the front of the store, so when people open the door you’ve got that fresh air coming in and you don’t necessarily pick it up,” said Family Dollar Assistant Manager John Szrmowski.
Chief Dailey told KDKA that crews could not locate the leak inside the dollar store.
The leak was later found inside the Lincoln Pizza shop a couple of doors down. The pizza place is in the same building as the Family Dollar along with two other vacant business spaces. This allowed firefighters to access the Lincoln Pizza shop through the basement, according to Chief Dailey.
The leak was coming from the ovens inside the pizza shop as the ovens were reportedly left on overnight, allowing the building to be pumped full of natural gas.
Officials said the building used to be a movie theatre and there are voids throughout the structure which caused problems getting the gas out.
“It’s been a challenge as far as ventilation for us because it’s such a big open area we had to use multiple fans at the doors,” said Chief Dailey.
A portion of Lincoln Avenue was closed for about two hours while firefighters worked to air the place out.
Family Dollar opened shortly after crews cleared the scene.
Lincoln Pizza re-opened at 5:00 p.m.