At 7:53 PM on Thursday, August 16th, the Merrill Fire Department was dispatched to 402 E. 6th St. for a report of a gas odor in the building. Upon arrival, occupants were out of the building. A Merrill FD crew entered the structure in SCBAs (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) and gas meters. The structure was searched and determined to have a safe atmosphere, so crews removed their masks, but could smell a slight odor of natural gas.
After interviewing the occupant, a crew checked behind a newly-installed stove. A small leak was detected with a gas meter, prompting the crew to shut off the gas line to the appliance. The renter was advised to contact the owner to fix the problem. After about 25 minutes, all Merrill units returned to quarters.
The Merrill Fire Department tests their gas and CO (carbon monoxide) meters at least once a week. These sensitive tools are used to determine safe levels in a building and in this case, find small leaks as well. In addition to their initial firefighter training, MFD members receive annual haz mat (hazardous materials) refresher training.
“Testing our equipment weekly, not only makes sure that our equipment is functioning properly, but also lets us feel comfortable using that equipment,” says Captain Bob Akey.