Wild winds cause gas leak, damage to historic Fresno building

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The damage was clear and so was the potent smell.

Sometime overnight or early Friday morning a large cooler that sat on the side of an aging building came crashing down onto a PG&E gas meter.

The impact cracked the meter, causing a gas leak. John Goss was the first person to detect the odor. He owns the business across the street. Within an hour, he said, the smell became overwhelming so he followed his nose to the source.

"As soon as I saw it, I came across the street and called the local fire department and let them know there's a pretty good gas leak going on."

PG&E crews who responded to the scene shut off the gas flow, then replaced the meter entirely.

The building was the former Fresno Brewing Company. It was built in 1899. For 100 years the building weathered the storms, but the one that blew through the area Friday morning was a brief but wild system.

"It was a good one. Very exciting. Every once in a while we get to see something like that but other than the bit of damage here, it was fun."

The damage wasn't limited to the swamp cooler falling. Once workers at Starr Transfer showed up to work- they also discovered pieces of the roof had blown off into the parking lot. Pieces of composite littered the parking lot along with nails used to keep the roofing materials in place.

It's unclear when repairs will be made, since employees say they were in the process of moving out of the building.
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