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Gas leak shut down Hwy. 50 Friday in downtown Farmington

Part of Elm Street was blocked off Friday night thanks to a gas leak coming from the old Burger King building next to Depot Way Arts Park in downtown Farmington.

Farmington firefighters were called to the Burger King building around 9:15 p.m. Friday, after neighbors to the south of the building started to smell gas in the air, according to fire and rescue assistant chief Todd Kindseth.

When firefighters arrived, they found a broken pipe on the back of the building that seemed to be emitting the gas, Kindseth said. The meter on the building was also damaged. Firefighters sealed off the leak and contacted Minnesota Energy Resources to turn off the gas.

Kindseth does not know how the pipe broke. There is a considerable amount of graffiti near where the broken pipe was, he said, and a ladder outside the building that allowed access to the roof. Firefighters also spotted graffiti on the roof, Kindseth said. It is possible, he said, that someone could have stepped on the pipe while going up or down that ladder.

"Those things don't just fall off. Someone, somewhere snapped it off," Kindseth said. "Coming down someone could have stepped on it. Somebody's been up there for sure."'

While on the scene, firefighters checked the inside of the building to see if the gas had leaked inside, as well. The building was clear, Kindseth said.

Kindseth said the gas company planned to return Monday to replace the meter.