The Rockmart Fire Department responded to a report of a gas smell outside Van Wert Elementary School around 2:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, according to Fire Chief Todd Queen.
He said firefighters’ first thought was a “phantom natural gas odor” which sometimes occurs on windy days.
However, firefighters soon found out the problem was a tractor conducting boring had struck a gas main at the intersection of Blue Hole Road and Old Atlanta Highway.
The event didn’t cause problems for children or parents leaving the school, he said.
Queen also said none of the residents along East Piedmont were evacuated because the gas was contained underground.
“As far as any danger, there’s not any,” he said. “It’s a matter of finding the leak.”
He said crews have asked residents to stay in their homes until Atlanta Gas Light crews can repair the leak. Queen said that could take some time because they have to find it, cut off the gas flow, and repair it.
County fire crews have closed down the road from Tri-City Pawn to about one-half mile past the school.
Queen said drivers should use Springdale and Sycamore Streets as a detour.
He said the incident happened on the edge of the city, so city fire crews secured the area. Since the leak is in the county, the scene has been turned over to the Polk County Volunteer Fire Department.