The Kennebec Journal newsroom in Augusta was evacuated Thursday afternoon as a precaution after a strong smell of natural gas was detected in the building.

Three Augusta Fire Department ladder trucks and two ambulances attended the scene at the building at 36 Anthony Ave., and about 40 employees of businesses in the building, most of them in the Kennebec Journal offices, were evacuated at around 3:55 pm. Other businesses in the building include Maine Overhead Door, Maine Security Surveillance and Advanced Industrial Solutions.

The evacuation lasted about an hour.

Maine Natural Gas said the odor was caused by the building’s gas lines being flushed earlier in the day.