Perrysburg, OH – A natural gas explosion Friday caused the evacuation of about 60 people from the Perrysburg Police Department and several nearby buildings in the 300 block of Walnut Street, authorities said.
No injuries were reported.
Chris Kozak, a Columbia Gas spokesman, said a boiler in the basement of the police department was not venting properly due to the extreme cold.
“Instead of venting out, it vented back in,” he said.
Perrysburg police Lt. Dave Weaver said an exhaust cap on the roof had frozen over, disrupting the airflow.
He said employees noticed a strong odor of gas about 9:08 a.m. just outside the front door of the building at 330 Walnut.
They called the fire department and Columbia gas to investigate.
The boiler exploded minutes later, leading to the evacuation of people from the police department, city hall, and Perrysburg Municipal Court, Lieutenant Weaver said.
“It sounded like a truck hitting a wall,” he said. “You could feel it.”
Employees were taken to the American Legion at 130 West Indiana Ave., next to the fire department.
An emergency command trailer was set up about a block from the police department so officials could continue dispatching police officers and firefighters to emergency calls, Lieutenant Weaver said.
He said it appeared that the boiler had burst, but there was little other damage to the building
People were allowed back inside the building just before noon.