Car crash causes gas leak in Appleton

Local News

A Westside Appleton neighborhood was evacuated Tuesday morning because of a gas leak.

The leak started after a car crashed into a Wisconsin Avenue building and broke a gas line.

“I was just a little you know struck by how crazy it is but everything got done in a timely manner,” says owner of Xplosive Audio Matt Rathsack.

He didn’t know what to think when the messages started flowing in about his damaged business.

“It’s crazy you don’t ever think that it’s going to happen to you. I didn’t really know what to think.”

Fortunately no one was inside the business when the car struck the outside, breaking a gas valve.

But the unoccupied building also caused some difficulty.

“That meant that we couldn’t control ignition sources,” says Appleton fire battalion chief Ethan Kroll. “The free-flowing gas was accumulating inside of the building and without being able to control ignition sources our greatest concern was potential explosion if the gas were to ignite.”

That’s when fire and police crews had to evacuate homes.

Within a short time We Energies arrived on scene and turned the gas off.

“We had crews that were set up with hose lines on either side of the affected building,” says Kroll. “But then we sent additional crews to meter and evacuate all the surrounding buildings on each side of the affected building.”

Xplosive had to shut down for the day but they plan to continue sales Wednesday, business as usual.

“After this everything will get back to normal,” says Rathsack. “But for the day the loss revenue sucks, but it is what it is, just a freak accident and you go on with it.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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