Tactical Size-Up of Natural Gas Emergencies

Issue 11 and Volume 173.

By Jerry Knapp The call started out as another annoying natural gas call where nothing bad ever happens—until it does. The contractor struck a gas main under the road with a boring device and gas was blowing out of the excavation near the curb. We evacuated nine homes and had been on the scene 43 minutes. The utility techs reported their meters showed gas leaking out of this locked house and asked my captain to force the door so they could go inside. Captain Kenny Patterson radioed to command for a team with the irons (I had the four-gas meter and a six-foot hook). We were near the front door when the house exploded. In slow motion, I saw it come apart in front of me. The white thing that flew over my head was the front door; it landed across the street. I remember seeing my boots about four…

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