Charleroi gas smell

In this photo from October, Charleroi street department workers vent a sewer line at First Street and McKean Avenue where gasoline was sending fumes into houses and businesses.

CHARLEROI - The state Department of Environmental Protection returned to Charleroi Monday to investigate the source of gasoline that wafted from underground sewers into houses and businesses.

The investigation revealed that an overflow of gasoline from one of the fueling stations seeped into the ground and sewer lines, the Charleroi Fire Department said in a social media post.

“The smell and fumes should dissipate in a few days; however, rain will make it worse,” the department stated.

The DEP was still reviewing records before making an official determination on the source of the fumes, department spokeswoman Lauren Fraley said.

The DEP also worked with the local fire department on how to properly vent manholes to air out the fumes, Fraley said.

Fraley said the DEP was also in Charleroi Sunday “to investigate and assist in identifying/confirming the source of the odor.”

Charleroi fire Chief Bob Whiten said complaints about the fumes began about 11 a.m. Friday and that they were traced to an area near two service stations at First Street and McKean Avenue.

The problem centered around a four-block area and sent the fumes into about 40 buildings. One family was temporarily evacuated to the fire hall, Whiten said.

He said that people with the fumes in their houses should open windows for natural ventilation and run soapy water down drains.

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