Walmart reopens after evacuation due to odor of gas

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, March 5, 2014

After being closed and evacuated Wednesday morning after an employee smelled gas in the building, the Walmart store on North Main Street reopened at 1:05 p.m., according to city officials.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue personnel cleared the scene after the company’s maintenance personnel tracked the problem to rooftop HVAC units, city spokeswoman Diana Klink stated in an email.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the store after an employee smelled gas and called dispatchers at 9:38 a.m. Emergency responders detected carbon monoxide inside the store and evacuated it at 9:44 a.m.

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There were no reports of injuries, according to Klink.

Since the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is controlled remotely from out of state, local personnel could not immediately identify the source of the natural gas odor and carbon monoxide gas inside the building, and Virginia Natural Gas secured the gas lines into the building as a precaution, according to Klink.

No neighboring businesses were affected by the problem, and Suffolk Police assisted with traffic control.