UPDATE: Camp counselors move dorms after gas leak at Sellery Hal - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Camp counselors move dorms after gas leak at Sellery Hall

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Madison Gas and Electric workers and construction crews will start Tuesday morning to repair a gas line hit Monday afternoon, causing an explosion threat at a UW-Madison dorm.

Construction crews working on a new Amazon package pickup center at Sellery Hall hit a gas line, sending explosive levels of natural gas into the dorm, according to fire officials. 

Luckily, this wasn't during the school year. Only 16 camp counselors were staying there at the time and all got out safely. 

"I would hope whether there's 1,150, or whether there's 16 people in the building, when we pull the fire alarm system everyone evacuates the building," says UW Housing Associate Director Mike Kinderman.

Fire officials say they had to air out the building without using electricity, because of the threat of explosion. Plus, they shut down Johnson and Dayton streets and evacuated another building nearby.

"With natural gas concentrations at an explosive level, it means that anything a little electrical shock you get when you rub your hands on fabric and then touch a metal structure, something as little as that can cause quite a catastrophe, so we take very good care to make sure that nothing like that occurs," says MFD spokesperson Cynthia Schuster.

The explosion threat minimized after about an hour and a half and roads were reopened. Crews kept doors open at the building for several hours to continue airing it out. 

Kinderman tells 27 News the camp counselors will be staying at another dorm Monday night, because a generator that runs off the natural gas line could cause power outages inside the building. They'll be able to return Tuesday morning. He doesn't anticipate the incident to cause any delay in the construction project. It's expected to be complete in November. 


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Downtown traffic has reopened after a gas leak at Sellery Hall.

The residence hall remains closed. Firefighters are still ventilating the building.

UW-Madison police say Gordon Commons has reopened.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- As of 4:23 p.m., Johnson and Dayton Streets are reopening. Firefighters continue to ventilate Sellery Hall. The Madison Fire Department says the hall should be safe to reoccupy soon.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- As of 4:05 p.m., the Madison Fire Department says roads remain closed as they wait for gas levels to naturally dissipate to non-explosive levels.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Firefighters are on the scene of a gas leak at Sellery Hall on the UW-Madison campus.

The Madison Fire Department says W. Johnson Street is closed at Brooks Street, and northbound traffic along Park Street is being diverted at W. Dayton Street.

Firefighters are working with Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) to isolate and close off the leak. MGE is telling people to sty at least 300 feet away from Sellery Hall.

UW-Madison police say Gordon Commons is being evacuated as a precaution.

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