Within an inch of disaster ….

http://news.pioneergroup.com/manisteenews/2016/07/28/vandals-damage-main-gas-line-bear-lake-school/

The purpose of this site is usually to present news, factual documents without opinion or editorials.

However, a little before 3am on the morning of Wednesday July 27, 2016 an incident occurred which constitutes a grave threat to human life in the Village of Bear Lake.

2-3 individuals took a heavy implement and broke off the natural gas regulator at Bear Lake School – resulting in a 1 1/2″ line blasting gas out full bore, loud enough, fortunately, to wake neighbors.

We appeal for anyone with information, which may lead to those who did this being caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, to contact the Manistee County Sheriff. (231) 723-8393

This situation was deadly serious.
It being a calm night an inversion did not dissipate the gas upwards but rather sent it downwind and downhill to all the adjacent homes. Neighbors were indeed fortunate that someone saw the incident take place and called it in immediately.
The consequences of natural gas gathering in people’s ground floor rooms or basements does not bear thinking about.
The lives that were put in jeopardy by this callous, senseless act MUST be considered when the individuals are brought to justice.
To see what happens in situations like this see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/us/seattle-explosion.html?_r=0

And yes indeed there was a fatality.

Natural gas contributes to asphyxia:

http://plumbinghelptoday.com/denver-plumbing-repair-blog/2010/10/natural-gas-poisoning-symptoms/

The fatality was our parrot. Almost recovered from an infection, his room had all the windows open on this warm night and we woke to find our house filled with gas odor as did all our neighbors. By the end of Wednesday he was in trouble and by Thursday morning he was dead. We had rescued him 31 years ago and he should have lived another 30-40 years.

Yes when weighed against the lives of human beings, and in particular our incredible Bear Lake Fire Department staff who put their lives in dire peril to walk up to the pipe to shut it off, the life of a pet bird may seem trivial – but what if that had been a baby sleeping in that room? What if the leak had gone undetected for hours? What if the pilot light had kicked on or a static spark occurred, or the main transformer which stands within 3 feet of the vandalized gas connection had arced when 2 BLTFD personnel stood there?

We lost a member of our family. We could have lost a school and 2 blocks.

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