By Roger Lanse

On Monday, Apr. 12, 2021, at 10:15 a.m., Silver City Fire Department personnel responded to a reported odor of natural gas in the area of Albertson's, 1956 E. Highway 180. When SCFD arrived, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Fell, Albertson's had already began evacuating customers and Little Caesar's had shut off their ovens.

It seems, according to Fell and Lt. Jerry O'Neil, that Little Caesar's Pizza was where the gas originated, and they had self-evacuated that business. O'Neil told the Beat that the department tested the air inside the businesses and found 4ppm of carbon monoxide, which is cause for some concern, although not deadly.

New Mexico Gas workers then arrived on scene and began testing for leaks in the business' gas lines.

Customers were allowed to re-enter Albertson's at 10:42, according to O'Neil, and SCFD left at 10:58. Customers were not allowed to re-enter Little Caesar's.

All in all, O'Neil said, evacuation and re-entry was 'pretty orderly.'