Gas Leak

While many residents were either planning for the end-of-the-day, pre-bedtime plans for school age young children or possibly preparing to view the televised Villanova college basketball game on Thursday, March 16, one Newtown Square family was required to make an emergency telephone call for help.  Both the interior and the exterior of their northwestern Newtown Township home was filled with the added, telltale smell included in non-combustive natural gas.

Safety is a combined theme shared by the Delaware County 9 1 1 Center and the Newtown Square Fire Company.  A part of the responding radio exchanges between the Delaware County Fire Dispatch and responding local firefighters shared this potential danger had been reported to PECO Energy.  This high-energy type of call in near 20 degree temperatures also used predetermined responses from nearby Chester County fire and EMS apparatus.

With the occupants removed from their Bridal Lane home, instrument readings were made in all areas of the multiple-level, areas of the residence.  The upper level areas did not display serious readings on the Fire Company’s gas reading apparatus.

In the first-floor cooking area, the telltale aroma was noticed.  In the home-heating area in the home’s basement, there were reports of serious natural gas levels. This source became a serious source of an ongoing investigation.

While these interior searches were being done, fire crews working on ice-coated and packed snow could smell the warning odor. While unable to initially see the exterior gas meter, firefighters from Chester County’s Berwyn were making progress in their active digging search for the weather-buried gas meter and its shutoff valve.

When the snow removal was complete, the exterior firefighters and PECO Energy discovered the cause of source of the warning aroma.  A pipe near the gas meter had broken and this aided in the gas entering the home as well as providing the outdoor warning smell,

At approximately 8 p.m., the combined EMS crews from both Delaware and Chester counties and the Berwyn fire apparatus were released from their Newtown Square emergency location as the Newtown Square Fire Company began their final activities.  When one local firefighter was asked by a local resident about why this call was an emergency.

The supplied response from the firefighter provided the reason,” Haven’t you ever seen what happens when escaping gas becomes ignited?  The prevention of this type of an explosion and fire always need to be prevented.”

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