LACONIA — Residents smelling a strong odor of propane promptly evacuated their units in the Four Seasons Condominiums at 177 Mentor Ave. shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Firefighters from the Weirs Beach and Central stations arrived to find residents leaving the building and a powerful smell of propane at the front door way. Acting Lt. Deb Black sent a firefighter to the rear of the building to shut off the gas supply. Inside the building meters registered propane at 5 percent of the lower flammable limits and also detected high levels of carbon monoxide. Crews opened windows, which reduced the risk of the propane igniting while the fresh air dispersed the gas altogether. In about 20 minutes, residents were able to return to the building.
Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the caller who reported the gas leak called the Weirs Beach Fire Station, not 911. He stressed the importance of dialing 911 to report an emergency, explaining that if the crew at the station had been responding to a call for service, the call would have transferred to voice mail and delayed the response to the emergency.
– Gail Ober
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