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'Gas odour' in downtown Vancouver leads to evacuation of multiple buildings

Fire crews respond to a gas leak in Vancouver on April 24, 2024. Fire crews respond to a gas leak in Vancouver on April 24, 2024.
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Multiple buildings were evacuated in downtown Vancouver Wednesday morning due to a concerning gas odour.

Capt. Matthew Trudeau, public information officer with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, told CTV News crews were called about reports of a possible gas leak on Alexander Street between Main and Cordova streets.

Trudeau said "a high concentration of gas" inside one building was of concern. That building, two adjacent ones, and another across the street were evacuated, "out of an abundance of caution," he said.

Several fire trucks were sent to the area, in case of potential ignitions or explosions, though the response was slowly scaled back.

VFRS worked in partnership with BC Hydro and FortisBC to disconnect power and gas to the building, Trudeau said.

After conducting an investigation, FortisBC said, it was determined the source of the odour was "from an appliance inside the building" and not related to the gas system.

"Safety is a top priority at FortisBC. We take all reports of gas odours very seriously and dispatch a service technician to the area to investigate the report," spokesperson Gary Toft said in a statement to CTV News Vancouver.

The situation has been resolved, Toft said, and the roads have reopened.

"We would like to remind everyone that if you smell rotten eggs or hear the sound of escaping gas, stop what you're doing, go outside and dial 911 or call FortisBC's 24-hour emergency line," Toft said. 

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