By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
About 15 employees at Springfield Electric Supply Co., 2009 Jennifer Lane, were evacuated from the building briefly after a gas leak was detected shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.
The Quincy Fire Department rushed to the scene and immediately shut off gas service to the company in the former Konstant Products building in Seminary Industrial Park -- straight across Jennifer Lane from the city's Central Services Department.
"There was a pipe rupture upstairs in our mechanical room," said Don Harrod, Springfield Electric's manager. "We evacuated the building, and the fire department got here right away and shut off the gas."
Lt. Chris Bichsel of the Quincy Fire Department said a crew from Ameren Illinois was on the scene early Monday afternoon trying to figure out exactly where the gas leak occurred. He said gas service to the building would remain off until the source of the leak was pinpointed.
Harrod said Springfield Electric moved into the building a week ago, occupying the eastern one-third of the massive structure, which had been vacant ever since Konstant Products closed its doors two years ago.
As part of the remodeling prior to moving in, he said, some work was done at the back of the building to split up the gas metering system to Springfield Electric's usage would be separate from any future tenants that occupy other parts of the building.
"We're assuming that caused something to happen," Harrod said. "No harm, no foul."
He said after the gas leak was detected, employees went across the street while firefighters and Ameren officials checked out the building.
"We didn't know how long it would take to air out the building before they would allow us back in, so we went ahead and had most of them go to lunch," Harrod said.
Fire crews gave the all-clear to return shortly before noon after the smell of gas dissipated.
"The hazard has been taken care of," Bichsel said.