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Firefighters investigate reports of possible gas leaks near mall

People evacuated buildings near the Valley River Center mall Monday after reports of possible gas leaks. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - People evacuated buildings near the Valley River Center mall Monday after reports of possible gas leaks.

Firefighters at the scene said the initial report came in from 1600 Executive Parkway, one of the office buildings west of the mall.

Firefighters responded to a similar report at the Men's Warehouse.

In both cases, firefighters didn't find a leak.

Firefighters suspect fumes from an earlier gas leak across the river might have made their way into the ventilation systems.

In an email to tenants, the building manager said, "Police have reported a transient individual located across the river was using a chemical, also used by NW Natural, and that was the source of the smell."

A similar scenario played out last week, when residents of a Eugene apartment complex reported smelling gas. Firefighters later determined that exhaust from gas-power leaf blowers had entered the building.

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