FD: Crews investigate Sun Prairie gas leak, assisted-living residents pass time singing carols

Residents at a Sun Prairie assisted living facility were moved from their homes into a safe part of the building for more than 2 hours Sunday as first responders investigated a natural gas leak, according to a news release.

The Sun Prairie Fire Department said firefighters, police and EMS responded to a report of a gas leak at the New Perspective Senior Living assisted-living facility on South Bristol Street. Initial reports indicated that gas was present throughout the four-story building.

A police sergeant who arrived first noted a strong smell of natural gas in the building, according to the fire department. Officers relocated residents across the street to the Sun Prairie Public Works building.

Firefighters discovered the leak was coming from a broken stove flex pipe and were able to contain it. Residents were moved back into safe locations within the assisted-living facility, and firefighters assisted the residents with their needs, the fire department said.

The cold weather added challenges to the gas leak response, officials said. The building required ventilation on all four floors, and all doors and windows had to be opened. Staff brought blankets and cold weather clothing out for residents who were restricted to specified areas of the building.

Fire personnel worked with WE Energies and maintenance staff to ventilate the building. WE Energies and firefighters monitored the floors and rooms.

The leaked natural gas never elevated to flammable-range levels, according to the release. Crews were able to protect the more than 100 residents in safe havens and didn’t need to evacuate them.

The incident lasted more than 2 hours because of lingering gas in the building, the fire department said. The gas was pushed through the HVAC system. The building was deemed safe and residents were allowed to return to their units.

Some residents sang Christmas carols with firefighters to pass the time as they waited for the building to be ventilated, officials said.

No one was injured.

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