Gas leak at Cornwall day care center

Cornwall firefighters and Union gas workers, in orange, work outside the Heart of the Family day care center on Eighth Street West in Cornwall, Ont. on Monday, April 29, 2019. The building was evacuated after a natural gas pipe was broken. Fortunately, most of the people usually inside the building were outside for recess. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A Cornwall day care center was evacuated late Monday morning after a natural gas leak.

Fortunately most of people usually inside — the roughly 100 children and supervisors at Heart of the Family childcare center on Eighth Street West — happened to be outdoors at recess around 10:30 a.m., Cornwall Fire Services Platoon Chief Jody Dewar told Cornwall Newswatch.

Workers were trying to shut off the gas at the meter when the pipe broke. “They were shutting it off and the line broke right below the meter.”

“The technicians that were working on it actually got out quickly and made sure everyone got out of the building and then called us,” Dewar said.

The platoon chief said “there was enough” natural gas in parts of the building to show up on gauges used to detect the combustible, flammable gas. Part of that was due to an air intake next to the gas meter where the break happened, he said.

Firefighters used giant fans to blow the gas out of the building. They were able to shut off the gas at the main access point at Eighth Street West.

Union Gas workers were also on site.

Meantime, the children were kept at the nearby Harvest Christian Fellowship church a block away while firefighters cleared the building. Nearby homeowners stayed in their homes.

“Everyone’s safe. Everyone’s good so that’s the main part.”

Union Gas spokesman Andrea Stass told Cornwall Newswatch the pipe was repaired and the children and staff were allowed to return around 12:15 p.m.

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