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Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016

'All clear'

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Staff from the Spencer Public Library, led by head librarian Mandie Roberts, return to the building after being given the "all-clear" by the Spencer Fire Department Friday afternoon. A strange smell prompted a call to the emergency responders.
(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
Better safe than sorry.

That was the message from Spencer Fire Chief Doug Duncan after several reports to the fire department and Black Hills Energy indicated an odd smell at multiple locations around the city Friday afternoon.

Shortly after 1 p.m., a call from Spencer Public Library, regarding an "extreme gas smell" in the building, prompted an investigation by Spencer firefighters.

Spencer Police closed East Third Street to thru-traffic from Grand Avenue to First Avenue as local fire crews checked the building and the area immediately surrounding the library.

"As with most public buildings, they have a fresh air intake. They got an odor that was drifting across town," Duncan said. "They did the right thing and evacuated the building."

Duncan said he was never able to catch up with the smell.

After a short period of time, the library staff was allowed to return to their duties and the city service was reopened to the public.

Duncan said calls came in from West Eighth Street and from another responder near Sacred Heart Catholic Church reported an odd smell as well.

Following further investigation and back-tracking, Duncan shared that someone had called Black Hills Energy from west of the Spencer Area Activity Center and another call had reported a smell on West Fourth Street.

"We can't pinpoint any one thing and it's gone by the time we get there," Duncan said.

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