CT- SEYMOUR Seymour Ambulance members averted a potential disaster while responding to a routine medical emergency at a home on Bank Street.
Capt. Gretchen Weiler and Assistant Chief June Marcucio arrived at the 111 Bank St. residence late Sunday night to assist an elderly woman complaining of abdominal pain. When Marcucio opened the doorthe smell associated with natural gas was so strong she could taste it, Marcucio said. “As soon as you opened the door it just hit you,” she said of the rotten egg-like smell.
Marcucio and Weiler immediately ordered the two elderly residents out of the home, confirmed that the residence was empty and then notified the Fire Department.
The woman, Marcella Sobokta, age unavailable, was transported to Griffin Hospital in Derby and remained in fair condition late Monday, said a spokeswoman.
Officials said the other occupant in the home, whom they did not identify, was not injured.
Seymour Fire Department metered the home and deemed the gas levels to be dangerously high. To protect against the possibility of an explosion, officials closed Route 67 at River Street and Old Drive for about an hour until Yankee Gas arrived to turn off the gas, Seymour EMS officials said.
“The family apparently was desensitized to the odor,” said Seymour EMS Chief Frank Marcucio. “Had it not been for the quick reaction of June and Gretchen as a result of their extensive trainingwe might have had a disastrous situation. Their quick thinking and reaction may have saved several lives and property in the area.”
Yankee Gas spokesperson Mary Ingarra said the leak was a result of a faulty control valve on the stove. The gas company, based in Berlin, is not responsible for repairs to equipment, she said.
Fire Marshal Paul Wetowitz said the leak had the potential to cause a serious explosion. “If the conditions were right, it certainly could have caused death or a serious fire,” he said. “It could have damaged the house to the point where it would have been demolished,” he said.
Natural gas is a colorless, odorless gas, but companies add a foul-smelling chemical called mercaptan to aid residents in detecting leaks, Yankee Gas officials said.