Friday, 29 September 2023

Propane leak causes senior center scare

LUCERNE – Lucerne Senior Center staff had a scare on Wednesday, when a gas leak culminated in a hazard in the center's kitchen.

Lee Tyree, the center's executive director, said center staff began smelling a strong smell of propane last Friday.

That same day they called Northshore Fire to come and check out the building, but she said fire officials didn't report finding anything of consequence.

The propane smell continued to linger and got stronger over the weekend and into Tuesday, said Tyree. The center's propane provider, Ferrellgas, also came out to check the building and found no issues.

However, on Wednesday morning, as the center's cook was cooking food for the Meals on Wheels program, a blue flame shot out from underneath the stove and went up the kitchen wall, Tyree said.

“It was kinda scary for them in the kitchen,” Tyree said.

Tyree said they called 911 and the fire department came in and turned off the lines and stove.

The center is now waiting for Ferrellgas to come out and investigate. Tyree said the problem is believed to be with the propane line and the stove.

Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown said the fire ball caused no damage, and the center should be fine but they need to have their propane problem fixed.

He said firefighters paid three visits to the center over the last week due to concerns over the gas problem.

Tyree said the center is now cooking without a stove, but they're making do in an effort to keep Meals on Wheels going. “Nothing puts Meals on Wheels on hold,” she said.

Repairing the stove may cost the center “money we don't have,” said Tyree.

A donation for $11,000 that the center received last month from the Lake County Foundation was gone within 24 hours, said Tyree, as the center paid off old bills.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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