Yesterday, at approximately 1:40 am, the Point Pleasant Beach Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to 307 – Rear Cooks Lane for a structure fire. Upon their arrival, a burn victim was located outside the residence alert and conscious with injuries estimated to 40-50 % of his body.
The victim, a 47 year old male, reported smelling the odor of natural gas when he awoke from his slumber. When he went to the bathroom and turned the light switch on, the entire house ignited in flames.
New Jersey Natural Gas responded and secured the gas meter. Point Beach Fire extinguished the remaining fire without incident. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshall and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI responded to conduct the investigation into the origin and cause of the leak leading to the explosion.
The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center and subsequently transferred to Saint Barnabas Burn Center. The victim is currently listed in stable condition.
“We remind everyone that the odor of natural gas is an extremely dangerous and volatile condition,” says Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Al Della Fave. NJNG gives the below advice regarding potential gas leaks:
· Since natural gas has no scent, a strong odorant that smells like rotten eggs is added to help you detect possible leaks. If you smell natural gas:
· Remove any cigarettes or other smoking materials from the area, and then extinguish them
· Do NOT use matches, lighters or other open flames or activate light switches, electrical appliances, flashlights, doorbells or even garage door openers, as they could create a spark.
· Do NOT use telephones (cellular included) on the premises where the leak is suspected. Phones can create a spark.
· Evacuate everyone from the building immediately and then call NJNG from a safe location at 800-GAS-LEAK (800-427-5325). Let us know where you are.
· Do not re-enter the building until NJNG has declared it to be safe.
For your safety, NJNG promptly investigates suspected natural gas leaks as a FREE service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information go to: www.njng.com