London’s string of hot summer days likely prompted a natural gas leak in the city’s east end, according to the London Fire Department.
Platoon Chief Shawn Fitzgerald told 980 CFPL Sunday morning that fire crews responded after neighbours in the area of Trafalgar Street and Atkinson Boulevard heard a “large sound of venting” Saturday evening.
Crews noticed a natural gas leak at Hi-Tech-Auto Care, coming from its natural gas filling station.
Fitzgerald says the business filled natural gas on vehicles, “so they had a stack of natural gas tanks that were pressurized by a couple of pumps, and these tanks were venting because of the heat.”
“Pressurized cylinders are designed to have vents. If they over-pressurize, the pressure will be released, so it doesn’t explode,” the platoon chief explained.
Fitzgerald says the leak was not due to a broken system; it was designed that way for safety.
Propane tanks on barbecues have the same pressure-relief system, Fitzgerald added.
“This is why we advise people not to transport barbecue tanks inside trunks of cars. The heat buildup can create this venting of pressure from the cylinder inside the vehicle, and then you have a bigger problem.”
Nearby businesses were evacuated as crews worked to stop the leak. They have since returned.
No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada’s heat warning for London remains in effect as daytime temperatures are set to hit 32 C or higher for all of next week.