A homeowner in New Milford made a terrible mistake when he smelled gas in his home last night. He asked a neighbor for help in finding the source. The neighbor and his 9-year-old son entered the house with the man when it suddenly exploded.
The homeowner and the boy are in the hospital in critical condition (from news reports) and the neighbory (the boy’s father) died.
So far, the cause of the explosion has not been determined, but preliminary reports state that a gas leak from a water heater is suspected.
What To Do
I know that New Milford is not “local” but this could happen anywhere. It could happen to you or one of your neighbors. So, what is the right thing to do if you smell gas?
The Southern Ct Gas Company website offers these tips:
If you suspect a gas leak get up, go outside and call SCG from a neighbor’s phone toll free at (800) 513-8898 or call 911 for your local fire department. SCG will respond quickly to ensure that you and your family are safe.
- Do not operate electrical switches or appliances. These items may produce a spark that might ignite the gas and cause an explosion.
- Do not use a telephone or cell phone.
- Do not light a match or smoke and extinguish any open flames.
- Do not assume someone else will report the condition.
- Do not open windows and doors to ventilate the area.
- Provide SCG with the exact location, including cross streets.
- Let them know if sewer construction or digging activities are going on in the area.
Use your senses to detect gas leaks. A natural gas leak is usually recognized by smell, sight, or sound. Remember, if you smell natural gas, get up, get out and call us immediately from a neighbor’s phone.
Natural gas is colorless and odorless. For your safety, a distinctive, pungent odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added so that you’ll recognize it quickly. Not all transmission lines are odorized.
You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust. You may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.
You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing, or whistling.
The one lesson that can be learned from the incident in New Milford is, if you smell gas get away from the area, call 911 and let trained personnel look for the source.
Our thoughts go out to the two New Milford families affected by this tragedy.