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Updated: Gas leak shuts down Tigard strip mall

Crews evacuated a strip mall at Pacific Highway and Hall Boulevard after a contractor ruptured a gas line in one of the stores.A Tigard strip mall was evacuated Thursday morning after a gas leak was detected, closing down several stores.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue reported the gas leak at Tigard Plaza, located at 11945 S.W. Pacific Highway.

The popular strip mall is home to Jo Ann's Fabrics, Gaffers Fish & Chips and several other businesses.

The gas line was ruptured at about 9:11 a.m.

According to Missy Louie, who works at nearby Richard's Deli & Pub, contractors were cutting through concrete to remodel a breezeway in between one of the businesses, when they cut into a gas line.

"Two concrete workers came around the corner and told everybody not to light their cigarettes," she said.

No one was injured in the gas leak, but a15 businesses in the strip mall were evacuated, TVF&R said, as well as four nearby homes due to their proximity to the shopping plaza.

Tigard Police assisted with traffic control and evacuations.

Portland General Electric and NW Natural shut off utilities to the area.

Firefighters searched the businesses in full self-contained breathing apparatus to monitor air quality, TVF&R said.

By 12:14 p.m., the gas had dissipated enough for crews to begin repairing the leak. People were allowed back into their businesses, but utilities — including electricity — will remain off until repairs are made.

There is no word yet on when power will be restored or when the businesses will re-open.

"This is an excellent reminder that emergencies can happen at any time," TVF&R said in a statement. "Always be aware of how you would exit a building quickly in case of an emergency. Also, have a back-up plan to take care of family and school needs in the event that the unexpected happens."




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