A gas leak was reported Friday afternoon in the area of E. 7th Street and Commerce Street in downtown Fort Worth, and police asked residents to avoid the area.
“Police, fire department and Atmos are on scene,” police officials posted on X shortly before 1:30 p.m. “We will advise when the area has reopened.”
Please avoid area of 7th Street and Commerce.
Gas leak reported in the area and police, fire department and Atmos are on scene.
We will advise when the area has reopened.
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) January 19, 2024
The Fort Worth Fire Department received a call about the natural gas leak around 12:45 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they found people self-evacuating from businesses in the area, where construction crews had been working and a gas main had ruptured, fire officials posted on social media.
Fire crews found no air quality issues in surrounding businesses, and the strong wind outside caused the gas to rapidly dissipate, officials said. Gas in the area has been shut off, and fire crews have left the scene.
“There is NO immediate threat to the area at this time,” fire officials said in the post about 2:30 p.m.
— Fort Worth Fire Department (@FortWorthFire) January 19, 2024
The leak is at least the second one reported downtown in the week after a Jan. 8 explosion that blew out windows and walls on the first two floors of the Sandman Signature Hotel, collapsing two stories of debris into the basement, where the blast is believed to have originated, and injuring 21 people. The cause of that explosion remains under investigation, but fire officials believe it was connected to natural gas.
Another leak that was discovered Tuesday outside the 777 Main St. tower was repaired by Thursday, officials said, when two restaurants in that building were able to reopen. Friday’s leak is also near the 777 Main building.
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The Capital Grille at 7th and Main and the Little Red Wasp at 8th and Main reportedly evacuated because of Friday’s leak.
Adam Jones, the owner of the restaurant Grace and the Little Red Wasp, said Friday’s leak is further down the street than Tuesday’s leak. But the gas to the 777 Main St. tower, where Grace is located, has been turned off again Friday while Atmos Energy works to repair the main.
Grace reopened Thursday after being closed for two days. Now the establishment is closed again, along with the the Little Red Wasp.
The back-to-back leaks are “more proof our gas infrastructure isn’t working,” Jones told the Star-Telegram.
Jones’ third restaurant, 61 Osteria, will be open for business as usual Friday evening, he said.