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Belmont Fire Log: Gas Leaks, a Fully-Involved Cab and Self-Erupting Ovens

Incidents and emergencies handled by the Belmont Fire Department.

Persistent gas problem

Dec. 24 – At around 20 past 4 p.m., Engine 1 was sent to the corner of Elm Street and Foster Road for a reported outside odor of gas. On arrival, the crew could smell a slight intermittent odor in the neighborhood. The homes that the firefighters could get into found no gas. A resident said the gas smell is an ongoing issue and National Grid, the town's gas provider, had investigated the problem in the past.

All I want for Christmas is a natural gas leak

Christmas Day – At a quarter past 8 p.m., a command car was traveling down Trapelo Road when a citizen out on a Christmas Day stroll waved the firefighter down near the fire department headquarters. The walker said that he could smell that rotten-egg odor indicating natural gas on the street. Sure enough, the firefighter could indicate an intermittent odor present in the area. National Grid was notified to respond.

On the floor

Boxing Day – A quarter past noon, Engine 1 and Ladder 1 were sent to a house on Harriet Avenue to help clean up and control a leaking fuel oil tank. The department provided a "plug and dike" to the repairman to put a halt to the run off. About a gallon of oil spilled on the basement floor. 

Gas issues, third day in a row

Boxing Day –  About a quarter to 9 p.m., firefighters were sent to a business at the corner of Common and Trapelo in Cushing Square as someone reported smelling gas coming from the store. Firefighters called National Grid to the location and the gas company told the crews that they had been to the store around 6 p.m. for a gas leak in the basement. Both crews entered the store and their equipment could not detect a leak. The gas company thought that the odor was residual gas from the earlier repair. 

Water bound on Barnard

Dec. 27 – A minute after 9 p.m., Engine 1 arrived at a Barnard Road two family to help pump seven inches of water out the house. Apparently, a day of heavy rain and snow pushed the ground water to seep through the foundation. The gas supply was shut off as was the hot-water heater. 

An alarming situation

Dec. 28 – At half 'til noon, Engine 1 and Ladder 1 arrived on Grant Avenue to investigate why the home's smoke detectors were making a racket. A neighbor told firefighters that the homeowners were away for a week and the detectors had been cranking out their annoying alarms for several days. Companies were unable to gain access the interior of the residence since no one was at home. The firefighters requested that the fire alarm company notify the homeowner but they did not have a contact number. After performing a final check of the outside perimeter of the home and unable to find signs of smoke or fire, the companies left. 

Cab fire on Trapelo 

Dec. 28 – At a quarter past 4 p.m., Engine 1 and Ladder 1 were sent to the intersection of Belmont Street and Trapelo Road for a vehicle fire. The firefighters arrived to find a taxicab fully involved in flames. An ambulance was on the scene before the fire personnel came and said the driver, the only individual in the vehicle, was safe. Engine 1 used about 500 gallons of water to extinguish the fire. The driver said he could smell an odor of sulfa "like the smell given off by a sparkler when (it's) lit" prior to seeing smoke and flame. The vehicle is a total loss as the fire destroyed the flammable materials in the car from the trunk to the engine compartment. Belmont Police is filing its own report.

Was it set for "self clean" or "erupt in flames"?

Dec. 28 – A quarter past 8 p.m., the entire Belmont Fire Department was sent to a reported fire in a Pine Street two family. Engine 1 firefighters found an oven had erupted into flames; while the blaze was extinguished by the time they arrived, the oven was still smoking. The homeowner told firefighters that she set her oven to "self-clean" only to find the kitchen appliance suddenly begin to smoke and flames flaring out of the appliance. She quickly shut the stove off and called the fire department. The firefighters checked the surrounding walls to determine if the flames had spread. 

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