Residents alarmed at smell of gasoline at Murfreesboro apartment complex

Jan 13, 2020 at 08:00 am by Voice Wire

Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department

Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department crews monitored air quality at an apartment complex throughout the night after a worker with a paving company used gasoline to clean equipment at the complex's onsite car wash, causing gas fumes to spread.

MFRD responded around 6:40 p.m. Sunday to the Annandale Apartments, 1307 Westlawn Blvd., to a report of the smell of gasoline inside one of the units.

Firefighters aboard Engine 5 and Rescue 9 used air monitors and found the fumes were inside several apartments and the gasoline was in the sewer lines at the complex. An apartment maintenance worker told firefighters that a worker with a paving company was using gasoline to clean the bed of a work truck and equipment at the on-site car wash. The gasoline went down the drain basin, traveled through the sewer lines and emitted fumes into the apartments. 

Hazmat crews with Evergreen AES Environmental Services were called to vacuum the sewer lines and clean up the remaining gasoline at the car-wash bay.

Firefighters went door-to-door alerting residents of the situation. Residents were asked to use minimum to no water to limit fumes from spreading into the units through the drains.

"We continued to monitor air quality in the apartments and there was no need to evacuate anyone," said MFRD Battalion Chief Jamie Bigelow. "Even though residents could smell gasoline fumes, the gas was not at an explosive level. The residents were asked to open their windows to ventilate their apartments." 

Firefighters flushed the sewer lines with water several times to make sure all the gasoline passed through the system. 

In total, 144 apartments in four buildings were affected. Firefighters went to a selected number of the units re-check the air quality. They also flushed toilets and ran water in the sinks, which helped to eliminate any remaining fumes. There is no danger to residents, but firefighters will continue to monitor air quality. 

The paving company will be responsible for all cost related to the clean-up.


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