CO – Nicole Formosa, Summit Daily News

A disaster was averted in Farmer’s Korner Monday morning when the manager of a gas station smelled leaking natural gas and called 911.

Donald Martin has worked at the Farmer’s Korner gas station for many years, and was able to distinguish the smell of natural gas from propane because Amerigas Propane Company’s filling station is located next door.

Firefighters from the Red, White and Blue Fire District and Xcel Energy responded to the gas smell.

Xcel workers located a gas meter covered in ice behind Altitude Motor Sports, and adjacent to the gas station.

Even though there was a small roof structure protecting the meter, melting snow from the roof had encased the meter with ice. When firefighters uncovered the meter, they found an active leak where the 2-inch pipe had sheared through from the tension of the ice.

Altitude Motor Sports, which is closed on Mondays, was full of natural gas from the leak.

“I am convinced we would have had another explosion and with all of the activity in the area, I don’t know how we could have avoided anyone getting hurt,” Battalion Chief Mike Rutherford said.

Along with the adjacent propane company and the gas station, Summit High School is a quarter mile from Altitude Motor Sports.

Red, White and Blue firefighters responded to an explosion at an unoccupied house last Wednesday, which was also caused by a sheared pipe going into the house from a propane tank.

The fire department urges citizens to check gas meters, clear off snow and ice from around regulators and propane tanks.