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Leak scare on Running Springs prompted evacuations

(Thursday, Feb. 29, 11:20 p.m.) Emergency officials evacuated some Running Springs Road manors and temporarily shut down part of Tice Creek Boulevard Thursday night because of a suspected gas or coolant leak that turned out to be a false alarm.

ConFire reported that what initially seemed to be a gas or coolant leak was bear spray that a resident, who fell and could not get up, sprayed thinking it would make a horn sound. A neighbor alerted to the accident was also exposed to the bear spray, sending both of them to the hospital and prompting fears of a leak, said Public Safety Manager Tom Cashion. Their conditions were not known Thursday night.

Freeman’s Heating & Air Conditioning confirmed there was no leak.

Earlier in the night, as a precaution, ConFire and Walnut Creek Police evacuated the manors neighboring the affected units. GRF officials opened the Redwood Room at Gateway Clubhouse for those evacuated residents.

ConFire turned off gas in and around the manors as they searched for the source of the leak. Once they determined the bear spray was responsible for the emergency, they lifted the evacuation order and restored gas to the Running Springs manors.