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Downtown Bend gas buildup prompts evacuations; kitchen burner left on

Bend Fire & Rescue generic

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A buildup of natural gas at a closed downtown Bend restaurant on Sunday prompted evacuation of neighboring businesses, according to fire officials who said a kitchen stove burner had been left on, but not lit.

Bend Fire & Rescue crews, along with police and Cascade Natural Gas, responded just before 5:30 p.m. to the reported odor of natural gas near Barrio Restaurant at 915 NW Wall Street, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.

They entered the closed business and found a significant accumulation of natural gas inside, prompting evacuation of the neighboring businesses on either side, Kettering said.

After the source of the gas leak was found to be a kitchen stove burner that had been left on, but not lit, the gas was shut off and the business ventilated.

Kettering said neighborhood businesses were allowed to resume normal operations about 45 minutes after crews arrived on the scene.

"Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind the community to ensure that control knobs on gas appliances are turned off completely before leaving your home or business," Kettering said in a news release.

"Natural gas that is flowing freely can cause a fire or explosion, and inhaling natural gas vapors can cause serious illness," she added. "As with any potentially dangerous energy source, natural gas must be handled with care."

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