Building destroyed after gas leak, explosion in west Columbus

A Domino’s Pizza restaurant was destroyed after an explosion caused by a gas leak

Columbus gas fire

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A gas leak and explosion destroyed a Domino’s restaurant in west Columbus and damaged nearby homes and businesses.

Fire crews quickly pulled a second-alarm after a gas leak was reported in the 2800 block of West Broad Street.

Officials on scene say Columbus-based Team Fishel was doing underground boring in the parking lot area by the Domino’s Pizza and struck a gas line. The ovens in the Domino’s ignited the gas. Everyone evacuated the Domino’s building when they smelled the gas.

All patients at the nearby Nationwide Children’s Hospital primary care hospital are safe, according to a representative from the hospital.

“Because of the gas leak initially everything in the area had been evacuated, so at the time of the explosion everyone was away from the building,” said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin. “We’ve got an evacuation distance right now of one block in every direction of the situation. People that are in their homes can shelter in place if they are inside that area, but outside we ask that people stay away.”

At least one person is injured, a pregnant woman who was running away from the scene and tripped.

Fire crews are evacuating buildings one block in every direction. Broad Street is closed from Hague Ave. to Binns Blvd. currently, and is expected to be closed through rush hour.

Battalion Chief Steve Martin said firefighters are working to protect the buildings in the area. Martin said the gas underneath the ground could be seeping into other buildings. The gas was shut off just after 4:30pm.

Columbia Gas and AEP Ohio are on scene. Columbia Gas representative Shana Eiselstein said the crews’ first responsibility is to assess and make sure everything is safe.

“Our focus remains on the safety of the community, our crews and fire officials,” a statement from Columbus Gas of Ohio reads. “Once the area is made safe, the investigation into the cause and circumstances of the incident will begin.”

AEP Ohio reports about 2.400 customers are without power in the area.

Witnesses nearby heard the explosion. Some homes were even damaged by the blast.

“My neighbor’s windows are knocked out,” said Tila Fields. “They won’t let me in. I know all my belongings that were on the wall are on the floor now because that happened while we were in there.”

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