Gas Leak Threatens Shady Grove Nursing Home
Fire spokesman: There were no evacuations after a construction crew damaged a gas line.
Firefighters were keeping a close watch on gas levels in and around a Rockville nursing home after a construction crew hit a natural gas line on Wednesday morning in Shady Grove.
Firefighters received a call at 9:42 a.m. of a damaged line leaking natural gas at a building under construction at 9607 Medical Center, said Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the county fire and rescue service.
About 40 firefighters responded to the building at the corner of Medical Center Drive and Key West Avenue and confirmed the leak, Garcia said.
“The thing we’re most concerned with is a nursing home about half a block away,” he said.
Firefighters were working with building engineers to seal the Shady Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and nearby Shady Grove Adventist Hospital off from gas, Garcia said. That means keeping doors closed and can mean using air-conditioning systems to circulate air.
Washington Gas arrived around 10:15 a.m. and clamped off the gas main at 10:41 a.m., Garcia said.
“At this point there are no evacuations in the area,” though people at the hospital and nursing home might have left on their own, he said.
"People were calling saying they smelled something," Garcia said. While natural gas is colorless and odorless, an additive gives it a distinct smell.
Firefighters were using gauges to monitor the amount of gas leakage, which remained within safe levels, Garcia said.