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Thankfully Burkburnett, Texas Didn't Blow Up Thanks to This Guy

You know how we play those PSAs on the radio about smelling natural gas? Things like if you smell gas immediately call 911. Thankfully someone in Burkburnett did that back in February. When the fire department came out to investigate, they found where the odor was coming from. However, someone had rigged a line into their residence.

Looks like in the 500 block of Rosewood. Someone had some PVC pipes glued and taped together going into their residence. Where the normal gas meter should have been, the fire department found a crate covering it. The meter was gone and the gas line had been tampered with. Atmos who services the gas says the service was shut off the previous month and while this rig was hooked up, around $670 worth of natural gas was stolen.

Police Arrest Job Bob Wilkinson

Police have been trying to contact the homeowner Joe Bob Wilkinson since this incident took place back in February. He was officially arrested this past Friday (April 19th) and charged with criminal mischief and interfering with public service. Thankfully this was discovered before Mr. Wilkinson blew himself up or his neighborhood.

What Should You Do If You Smell Natural Gas?

Thankfully a concerned resident in Burkburnett called this in. If you ever smell natural gas, this is what you should do.

If you smell gas near an appliance, it may be just a pilot light that has gone out or a burner valve that is open slightly. If you find this problem and can fix it, the problem may be solved.

If you smell gas inside:

Go to a phone that is not near the smell and call your local gas company right away. (If the smell is strong or you are unsure, leave the building and then call.) They will come and make the area safe at no charge to you. While waiting for the gas company field service representative:

  • Keep everyone away from the area of the odor.
  • Don't smoke or strike any matches.
  • Don’t light any candles.
  • Don't flip light switches on or off.
  • Don't use a telephone.
  • Don’t use any electrical equipment or lights that might create a spark in the area of the odor.
  • Don’t use the doorbell.
  • Don’t adjust thermostats or appliance controls.
  • Don’t use elevators.
  • Put out all open flames.

If the odor is strong, leave the premises immediately and tell others to leave. Then, call your local gas company from outside the home.
Outside gas odors should be reported right away - do not try to locate the source yourself. If you smell or hear escaping gas:
  • Don’t position or operate vehicles or powered equipment where leaking gas may be present.
If you hear the sound of escaping gas, follow these steps:
  • Telephone your local gas company immediately away from the sound.
  • Don't go back inside your home or building until your local gas company says it is safe.
  • Keep others away from the area.
Your local gas company provides 24-hour emergency service every day of the year to provide immediate response to emergencies such as natural gas leaks. There is no charge to stop gas leaks.

NEVER turn the gas back on once it has been shut off due to a safety concern. Call your local gas company for assistance.

All repairs to gas lines on your premises must be made in accordance with local regulations, by a licensed plumber where required or by your local gas company. All info taken from Gas Pipeline Safety.

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