No gas leak detected after odor downtown causes concern

The alarming odor of gas left some residents scrunching their noses in downtown Los Altos last week.

The Santa Clara County Fire Department – joined by PG&E – responded to reports of the smell after receiving multiple calls beginning at approximately 8:32 a.m., according to department spokeswoman Luisa Rapport.

“Both County Fire and PG&E monitored the area for an hour and a half and never got any reading on their monitors,” she said of their failure to detect a gas leak.

Rapport said crews initially responded to Main and Third streets, but the smell eventually extended all the way to Los Altos City Hall on San Antonio Road. Multiple businesses were evacuated downtown as crews tested for a leak. Rapport said that at no time was there a bump on the monitor to indicate a leak. PG&E also had nine trucks in the area monitoring for a leak.

After 90 minutes, the smell dissipated and firefighters and PG&E cleared the scene. The cause remains unknown.

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