BANGOR – Authorities, residents and people throughout the state have a number of questions following Monday’s explosion, including what went wrong and how to prevent a future tragedy.
It has also raised concerns about safety.
The deadly gas explosion in Farmington that claimed the life of Capt. Michael Bell of the Farmington Fire Department has raised concerns of safety in the event of future gas leaks.
“All gas whether its natural gas or propane has that added odorant and it smells like sulfur, almost smells like rotten eggs. What we tell folks is as soon as you smell that [is] to immediately evacuate the area,” Bangor Fire Department Public Education Officer Jason Johnson said.
He said that if that happens, don’t do anything that can light a spark.
Johnson said those who smell the odorant should not turn on or off any lights or touch any appliances or electronic devices — especially a cellphone — until they evacuate.
He said they should not even try to open a window to let the gas dissipate and make sure to get out to a safe distance.
And if the odorant can’t be detected, there are alternatives that can help avoid any problems.
“So, you can get a detector that would detect the gas as well. If you wanted to have a gas detector, I think Gas Maestro makes a nice one that you could put in your house and some of them are even hooked to your gas line, to your heating system, so that they’ll automatically shut the gas off if there is a problem,” said Wayne Jackson, owner of Jackson Plumbing and Heating.
Officials said even when the professionals arrive and every precaution is taken, there’s always a possibility of a catastrophe, so it’s important to stay safe.
“It kind of hits home a little bit because they are these types of calls that we do get from time to time. As I said, it’s not very common. So yeah, it does make you wonder, it does make you stop and think and realize that life is sometimes very short and sometimes that routine call may not be so routine,” Johnson said.