Blaine High School gas leak investigation complete

by Tim Hennagir
Life Editor

A small gas leak inside a Blaine High School portable classroom last Thursday has been investigated by a mechanical engineering contractor and local utility.

Buildings and grounds department experts and CenterPoint Energy workers inspected the classroom.

The gas leak was reported shortly before 8 a.m. March 1.

Students were evacuated and placed in the main school building.

Classes were not interrupted, said Mary Olson, communications and public relations director.

The school’s police liaison officer notified the Blaine-Spring Lake Park-Mounds View Fire Department (SBM), she said.

Parents were notified by phone message, Olson said.

District Fire Chief Doug Nelson said he smelled gas inside the classroom and hallway.

Firefighters checked the building with gas meters, he stated in an e-mail.

Nelson ordered a school custodian to shut off a gas meter serving the portable classrooms. Firefighters confirmed gas levels decreased when windows were opened.

CenterPoint Energy later inspected the portable building and its heating units, Olson stated in an e-mail. Workers determined four of the building’s 24 external heating/air conditioning units needed further study.

Anoka-Hennepin’s contractor for mechanical engineering was called in to evaluate those units, she said.

The contractors examined all four units. Two of the four units were leaking small amounts of natural gas outside. Repairs were made later in the day.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]

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