Six-alarm emergency in Keene due to gas leak from Liberty Utilities plant

Source: Union Leader.com

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KEENE – A 6-alarm emergency has been struck in Keene to respond to a gas emergency, Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard said at a press briefing Saturday afternoon.

“This is not a gas leak that is occurring within the city. The gas company Liberty Utilities had a power issue at their plant and we refer to it as they were making bad gas or a high BTU gas.”

Howard said at least one person has been hospitalized because of the emergency.

The danger is of suffocation because of the high levels of BYUs in the gas, Howard said.

The emergency is taking place within a two-square mile radius of Main Street downtown, he said.

33 engine companies, 3 ladder companies, and 11 ambulances into the city

Anybody that smells gas and is a customer of Liberty Utilities or the city gas system should call 911 if they haven’t already. Anybody who is a customer of Liberty Utilities, again the city underground system, should be opening windows in their homes and ventilating their homes,” Howard said. “Unless you have CO monitors within your home you could have CO readings within your business or with your home.”

The state’s emergency staff are on standby and a Public Utilities Commission representative is on their way to the city.

Fire crews will soon be going home to home and business to business to check on each gas customer, Howard said.

“Currently we are working with Liberty Utilities and the fire department staff. We’re still actively responding to 911 calls and we’re still taking calls for odors of gas in buildings. Along with CO emergencies,” Howard said.”We’ve put the hospital on stand by for level two for CO emergencies.”

More information will be made available at 3 p.m., he said.

Howard said at least one person has been hospitalized because of the emergency.

The danger is of suffocation because of the high levels of BTUs in the gas, Howard said.

“We are asking neighbors to check on neighbors,” said Kürt Blomquist, Keene Public Work Director/ Emergency Management Director. “If you know you have a elderly neighbor you haven’t seen in a while, knock on their door and make sure they are alright.”

The six-alarm has brought in 33 engine companies, 3 ladder companies, and 11 ambulances into the city, Howard said. –See More

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