The Dangers of Gas Leaks

If you suspect there is a gas leak in your home, stop what you’re doing immediately and get out of your home. Inhaling a high concentration of natural gas can lead to asphyxia, the symptoms of which include fatigue and chest pain. Asphyxia occurs when your body is deprived of oxygen, and the more carbon monoxide there is present in the air, the less oxygen you’ll be able to inhale, which can potentially kill you.”

During my fire service career, I must have responded to thousands of natural gas leak emergencies, some with devastating consequences. The worst one, prior to our most recent disaster in Harlem—where eight lives were lost and which destroyed two five-story tenements—was in Harlem as well.

Sometime in the early 1990s, we responded to a gas explosion in an 11-story type I high-rise fireproof multiple dwelling (HRFPMD). The building was a senior citizens housing complex; not exactly a nursing home but rather a home that served the needs of the elderly…

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