Flagstaff City Hall and several nearby businesses downtown were evacuated briefly because of the smell of gas this afternoon.
At about 3:30 p.m., "several dozen" calls reporting the smell began coming into the Flagstaff Fire Department and Flagstaff Police Department dispatchers, said Sgt. Tom Boughner of the Flagstaff Police Department.
Fire and police scrambled to respond to the calls, and as crews arrived, workers and employees were self-evacuating from the affected buildings.
"We're all back in," Kim Ott, public information officer at City Hall, said late Wednesday afternoon.
The majority of the employees at City Hall evacuated to the parking lot or Wheeler Park for about 10 minutes, she added.
A fire at about the same time involving transmission fluid at a local business was not the source of the smell, Boughner said.
He added that although a source has not been found, the smell has dissipated. Officials checked with the railroad to see if a train was going by at the time with natural gas on it, but there was none.
UniSource Energy Services has a unit downtown looking for the source of the smell.
"But we have not come up with anything," Boughner said.
— Arizona Daily Sun staff