Tuesday, February 20, 2007


When Amada Street started smelling a foul odor coming from her basement she first thought it was a lacquer. Street contacted the city and advised them of the strange odor and they told her they would send someone out soon. Street became concerned after the smell started getting stronger so she contacted the Elyria Fire Department.

“I told my mom that I wasn’t sure what it was so to be safe I wanted to have the Fire Department check it out. After I called them I grabbed my little bird and took him across the street where he would be safe.”

Elyria Fire Department Assistant Chief Ron Brlas spoke with TMC NEWS at the scene and gave us the following details.

The Call
We got a call from 1839 West Ave for a gas odor in their house. When the first crew arrived they detected quite a large odor in the basement of the structure so from that point on we have been trying to locate the source of the odor.

The Process
We were looking in the sanitary sewers, apparently the storm sewers were ok but the problem was coming from the sanitary sewers. We worked with the waste water personnel to locate the source. We were using our Multi Gas Detector that detects an array of gases but basically we were looking for flammable liquids in the sewer. In a couple of instances it was picking up a flammable liquid but then as we got further down Oberlin Road it was showing clear so we headed to the South Maple area.

Finding the Source
We had product in the sewer at Oberlin Road and Maple Street and as we made our way up Maple one of the guys noticed a strong odor of gasoline at 358 Maple.

Fire officials discovered that a vehicle parked in the driveway at 358 Maple Street was leaking gas from their tank and that gasoline was leaking into the basement of the home and then into the sewer system. Tom Kelly, Emergency Management Agency Director, arrived on scene a short time later to access the scene for hazardous materials and clean up issues. Brlas said that there was gasoline in the basement and although they can get that cleaned up his concern is how to stop the leak and if the soil around the house is contaminated. “If that is the case then someone will have to come out and dig that up.”
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