Disaster was averted in downtown Stevensville following a natural gas leak behind a building on Main Street on Saturday. Volunteer firemen responded quickly and effectively to the incident, cordoning off the area and evacuating the 200 block of the Main Street from Cenex to Valley Drug until the leak could be contained.
Rich Marcus, owner of the Catered Table, said that his son was helping make deliveries that morning and accidentally backed into the gas meter at the back of the building, breaking the pipe below the meter shut-off valves and releasing a gush of natural gas from the pipe stem. Marcus said that his son ran inside with the news and they called NorthWestern Energy’s emergency number immediately. He said a company employee responded within five minutes of the call. Firemen secured the area and began a methodical evacuation of the block. Gas to the downtown area was shut off within an hour of the incident, he said.
Marcus said that his son felt very bad about the accident and that he was sorry for any inconvenience caused to other downtown businesses and residents. Gas service has since been restored.