Residents of a multifamily building had to evacuate shortly before midnight Friday after a vehicle crashed into a gas line on Latham Street in Mountain View and caused a natural gas leak.
The driver of the crashed vehicle reportedly left the scene, but was later found by officers down the street. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
On Friday, March 17, at 11:39 p.m., Mountain View dispatchers received multiple 911 calls reporting that a vehicle had crashed into a gas line, causing natural gas to leak from a multifamily residence in the 2000 block of Latham Street, according to a city statement.
Fire units arrived on scene a few minutes later and found multiple natural gas meters had been damaged by what appeared to be a vehicle strike alongside the building. The reported vehicle was not at the accident scene, police said.
Firefighters called for Pacific Gas and Electric to respond, the statement said. "Firefighters evacuated the affected building and the building next door while they used gas meters to confirm the release of natural gas was not present in either multifamily residence."
Two buildings, each with about 12 housing units, were evacuated. Mountain View police closed traffic in both directions of Latham Street while firefighters and equipment were on the scene. It took the Mountain View Fire Department about an hour to complete its building investigation and confirm that no natural gas had entered the homes, and reopen traffic on Latham Street. The residents of both buildings were allowed to return, and there were no reported injuries.
The buildings were released to PG&E and the property's management to finish repairs and restore gas service.
According to police, an occupied vehicle matching eyewitness accounts was found by Mountain View police officers on the 1900 block of Latham Street.
"The driver, a 24-year-old Mountain View resident, was arrested for driving under the influence. He was not injured," police told the Voice. "He was cited and released back to his mother at the scene."