Workers at Mattituck Capital One building clear out after smelling gas

11/08/2011 1:13 PM |

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Mattituck firefighters outside at the Capital One office building on the Main Road Tuesday.

More than 100 employees at the Capital One Bank office building on Route 25 in Mattituck were evacuated at about noon on Tuesday after workers there reported a strong smell of gas in the building.

The Mattituck Fire Department responded to the scene, where firefighters sent three crews into the buildin, each carrying with multi-gas meters to try to determine the source of the smell, said assistant chief Vinnie Tirelli, who was on the scene.

But Mr. Tirelli said the crews found no elevated gas readings in the building.

A strong, headache-inducing odor filled the parking lot while the firefighters conducted the readings in the building. Mr. Tirelli said the fire department has received several calls in the past about a Keyspan gas leak along the road, which he said Keyspan has refused to fix. He also said the smell of gas has migrated up to the bank building in the past. Keyspan officials were not immediately available for comment.

Mr. Tirelli described the smell as a “boxwood odor,” akin to used cat litter.

He said the fire department has instructed the bank to evaluate its mechanical and sewage systems.

“Our main concern is that people will be allowed back in and then in two or three hours we’ll get called because they start dropping,” he said.

No one had yet been sickened by the smell, but an ambulance and personnel from the department’s ambulance corps were at the scene as a precaution, Mr. Tirelli said.

Employees waiting in the parking lot referred comment to their manager, who declined to comment.

The fire department gave the workers permission to go back into the building about 12:40 p.m., but employees who were filing in seemed skeptical.

“I’m just going in to get my Kindle, and then I’m leaving,” said one woman.

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