A smell of gas was reported at Barnton Street, Stirling, at 12.35pm today.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said crews were working with Police Scotland and gas workers at the scene.
Two fire engines from Stirling were sent to the scene and the incident commander requested the exclusion zone to ensure public safety.
A service spokeswoman said three businesses and four flats were evacuated.
Fifteen people in total - seven at work and eight in the flats - were evacuated from the properties.
The property directly affected by the suspected leak has been identified as a single shop on the street.
Station manager George Carson said: "We have assisted in evacuating several properties and cordoning off the area to keep people safe.
"We are working closely with Scottish Gas and Police Scotland in monitoring properties and keeping people away from the scene as a precaution."