A gas leak from the collapse of a retaining wall behind a Ringgold Road car lot forced emergency workers to briefly shut down the commercial thoroughfare on Thursday morning.
East Ridge Fire Chief Mike Williams said emergency responders were called to Easy Auto at 5610 Ringgold Rd. at 10 a.m. on the report of a collapsed wall. It was quickly determined that the collapsed wall resulted in a large gas leak.
Chief Williams said that workers from Easy Auto and the adjacent business, Fine’s Body shop, were evacuated from the buildings. In addition, residents of several homes on Woodard Circle, the road on the hill behind Easy Auto, were also evacuated.
No injuries were reported, but several cars on the lot were damaged from the collapse of a 90-foot long section of the wall.
Authorities said workers from Chattanooga Gas were in the process of shutting of gas to the business. Once done, all lanes on Ringgold Road would be restored. Chief Williams said steady winds during the incident was helpful in dissipating the gas and reducing the risk of a fire.
Chief Williams said an engineer would be coming to the site to assess damage to the retaining wall and the Easy Auto building to make sure its safe for occupancy.
Chief Williams said that excessive rainfall over the last week may have contributed to the collapse of the 30-foot tall wall that may have been built in the 1970s.