Fire crews were unable to find evidence of an explosion reported at a downtown Palo Alto restaurant Thursday morning, a fire official said.
Around 9:50 a.m., fire crews responded to a report of an explosion heard and smoke seen from Sam's Chowder House's basement, at 185 University Ave. at Emerson Street, fire Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.
Crews arrived on scene and cleared the employees from the restaurant, while police assisted firefighters in evacuating the adjacent Palo Alto Bicycles and other businesses in the block, Woodard said. People were allowed back into most of the buildings before 11 a.m.
City utility crews were also called to the scene to shut down gas service to the business.
Fire officials initially thought the booming sound was a small gas explosion that occurred in the basement of Sam's Chowder House near a water heater. Firefighters made their way to the basement but did not find smoke, haze or any damage, according to Woodard.
No injuries were reported and no criminal activity was suspected, according to police.
Employees at Sam's Chowder House had been preparing for the day prior to the reported explosion and were able to conduct business as usual today, Woodard said.