By Brandi Makuski
Stevens Point firefighters cleared three buildings on the 1100 block of Francis St. after a caller reported a strong smell of natural gas Tuesday.
Crews were called to the home, which had two rental units inside, at about 10 a.m. on April 16.
“When Engine 1 arrived on the scene there was a heavy smell of gas,” said Lt. David Briggs. “We measured it at 7.3 percent, and that was outside the door, so WPS was called, and they called for the shift commander come to help take care of neighbors.”
Briggs said Stevens Point police officers responded to the scene to help divert pedestrians and bicyclists from the area, and to block off the roadway, which is located between Church and Water streets in the southern part of the city.
Briggs said no one answered the door at the home, so firefighters had to “pop the hinges using non-sparking tools” and ensure the home was cleared. They found one resident upstairs.
“That gas limit was below the flammable limit, but that was just outside, that’s why there was so much concern to get inside…if that limit was higher, they could have potentially had an explosion,” he said.
The home was quickly aired out, Briggs said, and the source of the gas appeared to have been a gas valve in the home that had been left on.
Crews were on the scene for about 90 minutes, Briggs said. No injuries were reported.