Disaster Averted in Coudersport

COUDERSPORT – A potentially disastrous situation was quickly diffused by local emergency responders today in Coudersport.

Shortly after 3:00 pm this afternoon, County 911 received a call from Tammy Spears, who reported that she could smell a strong odor of natural gas and hear gas leaking in her home at 403 South East Street in the Borough.

Spears was then ordered to evacuate the home.

Soon after, Lieutenant Bryan Phelps arrived on scene, followed by Coudersport Borough police, an ambulance from Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department and officials from UGI Gas.

Emergency personnel on scene quickly shut off an external gas valve. They then determined the amount of natural gas in the air to be extremely volatile, with gas readings as high as 50 ppm (parts per million). Enough to turn Spear’s home into a ticking time bomb.

A positive pressure fan was then utilized to exhaust the gas from the home.

After a quick evaluation, Lieutenant Phelps determined that the cause of the leak was a 1/2″ natural gas pipe, which had broken.

Just two days ago, a similar situation resulted in tragedy, after a Horseheads, NY, home exploded, killing a toddler.

An investigation into that explosion continues, but reports indicate that not enough was done, after neighbors called gas officials to inform them of a gas leak earlier that morning.

Fortunately, our local emergency personnel responded quickly and diffused what could have potentially been a similarly deadly incident.

The situation was quickly resolved, and personnel were clear of the scene by 3:45 pm.

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