March 15, 2013
The Kansas City Fire Department has enhanced its procedures for responding to gas leaks like the one that preceded a recent fatal restaurant explosion.
Fire Chief Paul Berardi said Thursday that a battalion chief and a fire truck equipped with gas level monitoring equipment will be sent on any call involving possible natural gas leaks. The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/ZNaeli ) that firefighters will also stay on the scene until the risk is resolved and consult with gas utility experts to determine if evacuations are necessary.
The new procedures weren't in place when firefighters responded Feb. 19 to a call of a gas leak an hour before an explosion and fire destroyed JJ's restaurant, killing one woman and injuring 15. The blast occurred after an underground gas pipe was ruptured.