HazMat crews test for gas in Auburn

Gas odors emitted from Jerome Avenue basements

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer

AUBURN — Odors of gasoline on Jerome Avenue prompted the local fire department to bring in the Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Response Team last night, though residents were allowed to return home within a matter of hours.

The Auburn Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) today said the state’s Hazardous Materials Response Team was employed to help track the source of an odor of gasoline in several storm drains on Jerome Avenue, near the Worcester line. Auburn first responders were dispatched to 30 Jerome Avenue shortly after 7:30pm on Monday and, according to the department’s press release, were able to detect an odor they believed to be gasoline in that residence’s basement.

While their noses detected an odor, AFRD meters detected nothing. As a precaution, Eversource was called to the scene to confirm the negative findings. A second set of meters confirmed no detection of natural gas.

According to the press release, a neighbor at 42 Jerome Avenue informed AFRD that they too had a gasoline odor emitting from their basement. Officials said the odor could also be detected at several storm drains along the roadway.

The Hazardous Materials Response Team, along with the Department of Environmental Protection, were called to the scene to further investigate, officials said. State officials were able to confirm the presence of a petroleum product with their testing equipment. Additionally, petroleum was detected in the storm drains at low levels. Officials stated the affected homes were metered before home owners were allowed to return home and all companies were clear of the scene shortly after 10:30pm.


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