Fire From Below Jan. 24, 2011

Ohio Gas Fires

Did you catch the news this morning about the village of Fairport Harbor in Ohio?  A sudden increase in natural gas pressure caused at least nine homes to catch fire.  The initial plan was to evacuate all 3,000 people in the village.  The mayor called off the evacuation because it would be "too chaotic to get residents out of the village through only three exits."  They had residents go outside of their homes and turn off their gas supplies, then remain inside until it was safe and clear.

I have a few questions...  Why does the village not have an evacuation plan that accounts for the three exits?  What would happen if they truly needed to evacuate?  Do most people know how to turn off their gas from the outside?

I'd say that the fire chief and mayor need to do some rapid studying on emergency management.  I also encourage each of you to know several evacuation routes from your homes and how to turn off all of your utilities from outside your home.


  1. In northern climates the utilities sometimes can't be accessed easily from outside the house. Give me a minute or three and I can have my power, water and gas turned off from inside the house.

    The gas is the only one that I haven't had to mess with at some point. Water and power have been dealt with as I've fixed and upgraded various things around here.


  2. Good point, Steelheart. I can shut off power inside or outside. But I don't have gas and my water is from a well.

    I've seen a couple places sell somewhat universal tools for cutting off various utilities. Might be good for folks to have if they are hooked in to water and gas.


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