Update: The Flats evacuated due to pepper spray prank

ATHENS — An apartment complex off of Oconee Street was evacuated due to a gas leak, according to an Athens-Clarke County road advisory. After residents waited across the street for nearly an hour and a half, the property’s manager informed residents the evacuation was due to a prank.

7:50 p.m.: Grady Newsource reporter Macey Lauren was there with at least 55 other people. Six police cars were also at the scene along with five emergency vehicles.

Oconee Street between Oak Street and South Poplar Street was closed on both sides. The North Oconee River runs behind the apartment complex.

Grady Newsource continued to provide updates on the evacuation.

8:30 p.m. UPDATE:

9:30 p.m.:

9:35 p.m.: Police have given the all clear. People who live in The Flats are allowed back in the building. Oconee Street between Oak Street and South Poplar has been opened.

10:15 p.m. UPDATE: Flats residents received an email from the apartment manager, Jennifer Reynolds. In the message, she explained that the evacuation was started due to prank.

We apologize for the inconvenience this evening, and thank you all for being so understanding.  Unfortunately someone set off pepper spray in the bottom of the stairwell near the sports court.  Athens Clarke County Fire Chief has confirmed no threat or danger.  All areas have been checked and cleared for any hazards. Please take in consideration whoever decided to pull this prank, as it is an inconvenience to residents and public safety personnel.

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