Neighbors reportedly smelled natural gas but didn’t report it ahead of north St. Louis County home explosion


ST. LOUIS – Natural gas is an efficient source of power but it is also a flammable material. Gas leaks need to be reported immediately to prevent dangerous accidents.

A vacant home in north St. Louis County was destroyed by an explosion early Tuesday. When fire crews got to the scene at Baron and Duchess, the roof was gone and the house was in flames. Thankfully, no one was injured, but neighbors may have ignored an important warning sign.

“Neighbors are reporting they smelled gas since yesterday in the area. No report to the utility companies,” said Chief Keith Goldstein, Riverview Fire Protection District.

Never ignore the smell of natural gas. It’s hard not to. Utilities add a substance that gives it a distinctive rotten egg odor.  If you ever smell natural gas, first, leave the location. If you are inside, leave the door open on your way out. Then call 911 or your gas company’s emergency line. Spire offers one 24 hours a day.  Do not assume someone else has already called for help. Finally, stay away from the area until you are told it is safe by a utility employee or first responder. They will ensure the entire area is safe for you and your neighbors

“It’s a great form of energy,” said Tim Goodson, vice president of operations with Spire Missouri. “But it has to be treated with respect and when people see a condition like that that could indicate there is safety at risk, please call us. We will respond immediately.”

Bottom line: always be safe rather than sorry. Your utility company will have an emergency number you can call at any time. It is a good idea to keep those numbers stored in your cell phone.

Spire customers in eastern Missouri should call 800-887-4173 to report natural gas leaks or other natural gas emergencies 24/7. Spire services the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, St. Charles County, all areas and communities served in Butler, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve Counties.

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