Gas leak shuts down 2 blocks of downtown Lawrence

photo by: Nick Gerik

Lawrence police help block Eighth Street near Massachusetts Street after a gas leak was reported in the area Thursday, April 30, 2020.

Story updated at 3:23 p.m. Thursday:

A gas leak shut down two blocks of downtown Lawrence Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded to the reported broken gas line in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street Thursday morning, Tom Fagan, division chief of administration for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, said via email. Emergency radio traffic monitored by the Journal-World indicated the leak occurred shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday.

Upon arrival, crews confirmed a 2-inch damaged gas line resulting from construction in the area, Fagan said.

Crews with Black Hills Energy responded quickly and shut down the gas, he said. Police and fire vehicles blocked off traffic on Massachusetts between Ninth and Seventh streets, as well as portions of nearby streets.

Firefighters evacuated buildings in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street to confirm safe air levels, Fagan said; crews also checked air levels on the west side of the 800 block.

The evacuation had ended by Thursday afternoon.

Approximately 35 customers were affected, and the cause was under investigation Thursday afternoon, James Williams, spokesman for Black Hills, said via email. Crews were also still working to restore all gas service, Fagan said.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.