The City of Oakley says a city building inspector prevented a potential tragedy when he stopped a gas leak from a new wall furnace that had caught fire in an Oakley home.
According to the city, on March 31, Scott Sanders arrived at a home in Oakley at around 10:30 am to do an inspection for a wall furnace that has been installed the day before. Sanders has been working for the City of Oakley for over 19 years, first as a contractor and now as a valued Building Inspector II.
When Sanders opened an access panel to make sure it had the gas shut off valve required by code, he saw was a three-inch flame coming out of gas tubing in a place it shouldn’t have been. The real pilot light was located about a foot away and was lit.
Sanders said the metal was red hot so he couldn’t get his hand in the access panel to shut of the gas, so he blew the flame out and let the gas keep leaking for a few minutes until it was cooled down and safe to reach in and shut the gas valve off.
“When we do inspections, we make decisions every day that affect people’s lives and property five, ten, 15 years from now by making sure everything is up to code and safe,” said Sanders. “We make serious decisions like this all the time.”
The city said It turned out that the gas leak was not a problem from the contractor, but rather a loose gas fitting from the manufacturer. When the pilot was lit, no one noticed the leak. Sanders thinks the gas flashed over from the pilot light, igniting the leak. The contractor immediately showed up to fix the issue.
“Scott’s quick thinking and professionalism could very well have saved lives. Sometimes, people think that the City’s permit and inspection process is a lot of hassle or red tape, but this is the reason we have such rigorous standards,” said Joshua McMurray, the City’s Community and Economic Development Director. “We are so grateful for Scott’s actions, as everyone in the community should be.”
Information provided by City of Oakley