Denison residents concerned about gas leak in same line

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX-A gas leak prompted the Denison Fire Department to evacuate several people Tuesday night and the residents said it wasn't the first time they've been forced to leave.
Residents told me it's the second time they've had a gas leak on the new line Atmos Energy has installed in their community less than a year ago. They said even though the leak has been repaired, they're afraid it will happen again.

"I walked outside to check on the dogs because they were making a fuss and heard a loud spewing noise. That's how it was last time also."

That's when John Firquain knew he and his neighbors would have to leave their homes. He and several other residents along Wagner Road were evacuated Tuesday night because of a gas leak just a few feet from his property. Shirley Smith was also asked to leave her home.

"I'm really scared because you know you think about that one, two, three times, one strike one, strike two, three strikes you're out so I was thinking we're gonna blow up the next time. I mean, it's scary," she said.

Firquain said the leak happened in the new gas line Atmos Energy installed near his property less than a year ago.

"It's quite funny because representatives from Atmos Energy told us that 'oh we're laying a brand new line and you're not gonna have a problem with it.' We've had two problems in less than a year," he said.

He said the first time it leaked was during a storm in the winter and again during Tuesday night's storm. He said you can smell gas from miles away.

"They told us the first time that it was just the ground has settled and pulled the line apart, and they told us this time that a part broke on it so I imagine it's the same issue," Firquain said.

Atmos representative Terry Tombaugh said Atmos is looking into the situation and working to resolve the issue. He said they have planned a meeting tomorrow to discuss it.

"I'm upset, we're all upset about it and you know, I think there should be something they can do about it. Why is this happening? It hasn't been that long," said Smith.

Both residents were allowed back to their homes after two hours, but said they are worried they might not be as lucky if a gas leak happens again.

"We've been lucky both times, who's to say it won't happen in the middle of the night one time, 2-3:00 in the morning. Gas can easily enter your house and amphyxiate you, let alone if you have a match or somebody lights a cigarette," said Firquain.

"This is gas and I'm just worried because they said we have oil underneath us. So, I mean that would be quite an explosion if that happened," said Smith.

Atmos representative Terry Tombaugh said they will meet Thursday and hope to come up with a plan to resolve the issue.


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