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Fargo Gas Leak Underscores Need for Winter Maintenance - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Gas Leak Underscores Need for Winter Maintenance

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Updated At 7:00pm

Firefighters say the cause of that gas leak could have been avoided if the gas meter was cleared of snow. It's a dangerous heads-up to homeowners across the valley to make sure to clear the area around their meters at home.

If snow is piling up around your meter then your are putting your home in danger of breaking the pipes causing natural gas to leak into your house. Xcel says that it's also not just snow that can cause problems but ice build-up is also dangerous because that is harder to try and get off. Ice and heavy snow can clog or even break the pipes, flowing gas into your home.

"It can be a safety hazard, it can interrupt the gas flow to your home. If you're busy with your snow blower and don't realize your gas meters there you can damage it, so there are potentials for things to go wrong." says Mark Nisbet as the Xcel Energy North Dakota Principal Manager.

If there is a gas leak experts say there will be a 'rotten egg' smell, and you should call 911 and get out of the home right away.

"Make your call to 911 inside the home, get outside because a spark could ignite natural gas, at a certain concentration level." Nisbet says.

Xcel Energy says to inspect both natural gas appliances and venting systems to prevent monoxide poisoning. Excel says if you smell the gas don't use any electrical switches such as lights. Don't open any windows or door other than ones you go out of. And do not return to the home until a safety expert like a utility company or firefighters say its safe to do so.

 

Original Story
 
Fargo Firefighters and Xcel Energy are on the scene of a gas leak in south Fargo. People in an office building at 3310 Fiechtner Drive noticed a strong "rotten egg" smell and called Xcel Energy who then called the Fargo Fire Department for help.

Fire officials tell Valley News Live an "explosive amount" of gas was found in the building and fire crews, along with Xcel Energy are now ventilating the building.
 
The gas leak is believed to have been caused by an excessive amount of snow on the buildings outside gas meter that caused a build up of pressure forcing the pipe to break and leak.

Six people were in the building at the time and evacuated, but no one was hurt. Fargo Firefighters say they should be able to re-open the building in about an hour or two.

 


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