Mari Mac Stores Close During Gas Leak Probe

The ladder on LAFD 1 reaches over the roof of Bealls Department Store after employees reported a suspected gas leak. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

LAFD units parked at Mari Mac Shopping Center Saturday morning. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

A firefighter at the controls on LAFD 1 as firefighters and county employees check gas lines on the roof. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

 

By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Fire Department responded in force at around 11 a.m. today to reports of a possible natural gas leak at Bealls Department Store in the Mari Mac Shopping Center. The store’s Assistant Manager Eric Larson called emergency officials after two of his associates alerted him to the smell of gas.

When firefighters arrived, Larson said they took two steps into the building and immediately decided to evacuate shoppers and staff.

County utilities responded quickly to the scene and began checking for the source of the leak. The AutoZone store next to Bealls was evacuated next followed by Pajarito Brew Pub.

Eventually, the source of the leak was found on the roof above AutoZone and was isolated. All three locations were naturally ventilated by LAFD and AutoZone and Bealls staff were allowed to return to work.

Pajarito Brew Pub co-owner Patrick Mockler Wood said at the scene that he was expecting a plumber to arrive shortly to re-seal the pipe and perform a pressure check before the gas to the restaurant could be turned back on. The restaurant was not closed for long. Mockler Wood quickly brought grills in for the patio area and all menu items with the exception of fried foods are available.

County Utilities Department Workers chat with Patrick Mockler Wood, owner of the Pajarito Brewpub which was evacuated by LAFD personnel. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

LAFD command staff watch as firefighters investigate a gas leak over AutoZone. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

LAFD 1 at Mari Mac Shopping Center. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

 

Firefighters return after checking inside the old Smith’s Supermarket area. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Firefighters evacuate customers and staff at AutoZone until the gas leak overhead was isolated at the source. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

AutoZone employees wait outside after being evacuated by LAFD. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

County utilities workers cautiously descend from the roof after discovering the source of the gas leak. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

County utilities workers chat with a firefighter before completing their descent from the roof after discovering the source of the gas leak. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Getting down off the truck as the breeze begins to pick up. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Pajarito Brewpub co-owner Patrick Mockler Wood on the phone after his premises was evacuated by LAFD. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Firefighters begin to pack up after the source of the gas leak was identified and isolated. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Pajarito Brew Pub employees serve hamburgers hot off the grill today on the patio area and all menu items with the exception of fried foods are available. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

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