RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — Several businesses chose to evacuate this morning as hundreds of residents reported smelling a gas-like odor in Rancho Cordova and Folsom. Fire officials, however, have yet to determine where the smell originated from.

Starting at around 8:30 on Friday morning, more than 120 calls were received between Sacramento Metro Fire and PG&E.

The smell covered a 20-mile radius from Rosemont to Bass Lake and eventually into Folsom.

Thinking it was a potential gas leak, Rancho Cordova City Hall, and the Fairfield Inn off of Gold Center Drive voluntarily evacuated as a precaution.

“It was really orderly. I didn’t see any panic. Everybody just kind of followed instructions, walked down the stairs and exited the building,” said hotel guest Ian Mearns.

PG&E crews could not locate a source and determined all gas lines were intact.

“It’s not necessarily a gas odor either that we are smelling,” said Capt. Chris Vestal with Sac Metro Fire.

Throughout the afternoon PG&E crews used air monitoring systems to take measurements as they investigated calls.

Fire official suspect the smell could be an airborne plume from the highway or nearby railway that was slow to dissipate because of a stagnant weather system.

“Any kind of release may stay close to the ground, and if it was traveling through US 50, or any of our railways, that could’ve caused a widespread type of odor,” Captain Vestal said.

Fire officials do not believe the smell poses any risk or danger to the public.


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