Newport firefighters respond to gas leak at office building

About half a dozen units from the Newport Beach Fire Department responded to a gas leak that sparked an evacuation over the weekend, but the quick reaction of a landlord brought the situation under control, a fire official said.

A construction crew working in the lobby of an office building at 610 Newport Center Drive accidentally drilled into a 4-inch gas line about 2:20 p.m. Saturday, department Division Chief Ron Gamble said.

The resulting noise was so loud you could hear it at a gym across a small courtyard from the building, according to Gamble.

"That's a pretty big gas line," he said.

The Irvine Co., which owns the office building, acted quickly by calling 911, shutting off the gas and telling everyone inside to evacuate, according to the Fire Department.

When the fire crews, including 21 emergency personnel, arrived, they could smell the leak but found minimal gas readings on the first few floors of the building.

After determining the building was safe, fire officials allowed people in, and crews repaired the gas line.

"What escalated really quick also came down really quick too," Gamble said.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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