3 Elkridge families flee methane-filled houses

September 03, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Three families were forced to leave their homes in the Elkridge area yesterday after Howard County fire officials discovered explosive levels of methane in the houses.

The gas readings were so high that a pilot light for a water heater or stove could have caused an explosion in the houses, which are in the 7000 block of Calvert Drive, said Capt. Chris Shimer of Howard County Fire and Rescue Services.

The methane was detected after a resident smelled gas and called Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

BGE found readings of potentially explosive levels of methane and called 911 about 3: 15 p.m.

About 30 houses were tested for methane and all but three were found safe, Shimer said.

Shimer said many of the houses were built on a landfill, which might be the source of the gas.

Pub Date: 9/03/98

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