A suspected gas leak caused faculty and students to evacuate Sullivant Hall at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Jane Ledford-Adkins, an administrative associate and employee at Sullivant, pulled the fire alarm after she smelled the gas coming into her office.
“We all thought it was very strange,” Ledford-Adkins said. “I walked out of my office and everyone else was out in the hall. I looked at them and said, ‘Better safe than sorry.'”
Strong scents of gas filled the air on High Street late into the afternoon as fire trucks and Columbia Gas of Ohio vehicles responded to the pulled alarm.
Columbus firefighters on the scene declined to comment about the leak.
Faculty and students were granted re-entry to the building at about 4:10 p.m. No other buildings along High Street were evacuated.
David Covey, a faculty member in the Ohio State dance department, said firefighters told him three other buildings called Columbus fire with the same complaint.
“I heard that you could smell it coming down the street,” Covey said. “They said that a gas line broke because of the cold temperatures.”
Minutes after the firefighters left, Columbia Gas showed up to inspect the gas lines at Sullivant as well as other shops along High Street, including Brenen’s Cafe.
Workers for Columbia Gas declined to comment on what caused the leak, but simply said they were responding to a call about a possible gas leak.
Two white Columbia Gas trucks were stationed on High Street between Sullivant Hall and McDonald’s.
Nick Wilkenson, a library associate at Sullivant, was working when the alarm was pulled.
“I was really concerned about the concentration of gas in the building,” Wilkenson said. “A few of our faculty members started to get lightheaded and I was beginning to get a headache because of how strong it was.”
The Columbus Division of Fire has not released any information about the leak. Lt. David Sawyer, head of community relations for Columbus fire, said more information will be available early today.