When you smell gas in your home and report it to Atmos, what’s the first thing they tell you to do?
Get out of the house.
So when Megan Anderson was busy doing the dishes in the kitchen of her Lakewood home on Jan. 5, she didn’t smell the gas that had been filling a wall between her kitchen and her living room. She didn’t know to get out of the house. She didn’t know not to touch the switch on the garbage disposal that ended up igniting the gas and blowing a hole in her wall.
So why didn’t Megan smell the gas? Why didn’t she know to get out?
Here’s what she posted on the Lakewood Facebook page:
To be clear, our house does not, and did not have a gas leak from any of the gas pipes inside or even within the boundaries of our property. The gas in our home traveled from the leaking gas main through the soil into our home. The gas is in our SOIL and it is certainly not contained to our property. Atmos claims that they have notified our neighbors of what is going on and that they have checked to see if any other homes in our neighborhood have gas leaks but after everything they’ve put us through and all of the lies we’ve been told, we’re not buying it. We did not smell ANYTHING in our home before the explosion – the soil filters out the smell that the gas company adds to natural gas – so many of our neighbors could have gas leaks and not know it. I’m afraid this is a neighborhood problem if not more and I’m concerned for my neighbors.
Earlier this year, several Lakewood residents reported gas smells all over the area, from West Shore and Pasadena all the way over to University Terrace, where the Andersons live. Atmos dispatched trucks and Dallas Fire and Rescue teams reported to several locations, but never was a leak found. The reason for the gas smell? Funky air in the atmosphere, according to Atmos.
That doesn’t explain how, all the sudden, some areas of East Dallas reek of gas pretty regularly, like Clay Frenzel’s backyard according to this Advocate story:
Neighbor Clay Frenzel has resided in his L street home for seven years, but six months ago the family began noticing the rotten-egg stench of gas in their backyard. They called Atmos, who initially blamed the family’s own U-shaped backyard.
“What’s strange, and they told me this, is that they think it collects on my deck,” he says. He agrees that it’s a little fishy that after six-and-a-half years in the home, the gas would suddenly begin collecting in his backyard.
What’s more, Frenzel says Atmos later admitted there was a leak behind his house.
“They told me it was really minor,” he says.
However, he went away for a week, and returned to find brand new pavement in the alley behind his house. Like at the Anderson’s University Terrace home, Atmos had replaced the block’s gas main. But it hasn’t stopped the problem.
“We smell it all the time, but we don’t call every time,” Frenzel says, adding that his 2-year-old now knows how to detect the gas. “It’s not every day but it’s definitely recurring.”
WFAA has done a story on the phenomenon, too. But we want to know from the homeowners: Are you worried that there’s something Atmos isn’t telling us?