Natural gas leak causes scare in Roseville

The Twin Lakes Corporate Center II on Arthur Street in Roseville was the scene of a gas leak shortly after 8 a.m. on Jan. 28 that left nine people sick.

The building houses a Walgreen's drug store, a Progressive Insurance office and a manufacturing plant.

Roseville Fire Chief Tim O'Neill explained his department received a report that workers were detecting the smell of natural gas.

"They also reported people weren't feeling well," O'Neill added.

About 150 people had to be evacuated from the building as soon as emergency personnel responded; a task that requires precision and team work, O'Neill said.

"It's a sizable building with three main tenants," he added.

After making sure all the building's occupants had moved to safety, firefighters immediately went to work to try and find the leak.

"We weren't able to find anything," O'Neill said.

O'Neill explained when the departments receives a gas leak call firefighters go through the property with equipment designed to quickly identify the location of a leak.

"Our monitors picked up nothing," the chief noted.

While the fire department was on scene workers from Xcel Energy arrived, turned off the buildings meters, and then began working on finding the leak.

However, as this edition of the Review goes to press, no leak was found.

O'Neill explained that nine people were treated at the location for illness and two were transported to the hospital. As of Monday, all those who had taken ill had recovered.

Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand explained that in events like a gas leak, the fire department has a more active role, but officers are at the scene to assist.

On Friday, that meant helping secure the area while fire fighters shepherded people out of the building and sought to find the leak.

"We primarily did traffic control," Rosand noted.

Becky Valdez, a manager at Walgreen's, was off-site Friday but once she heard about the leak was in phone contact with her team.

The Walgreen's housed in the building is not open to the general public because it primarily provides medicine and other necessities for in-home care.

She said the staff was able to calmly exit the building.

"We have an emergency plan in place," Valdez explained, adding Walgreen's staff will soon meet to discuss how effective the plan was with regard to Friday's incident and whether the plan should be adjusted.

In the hours after the evacuation, some workers lingered at the office to finish some tasks, Valdez explained.

"But most took the day off," she noted, adding many of tasks employees at the location would have conducted that day were sent to other Walgreen's locations, meaning customers didn't see any dip in service.

As for the leak itself, Valdez said she hasn't heard any information as to whether the leak was located or if there even was a leak.

The good news on Monday morning was things were back to normal.

"We haven't heard of any lingering effects for those folks who were feeling some effects," Valdez noted.

George Fairbanks can be reached at or 651-748-7813.

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