Saturday, February 13, 2010

We've had a weird fumey kind of smell in the house since yesterday, after the Husband used the snowblower outside. It's kind of a mix of exhaust fume and gasoline. Mostly it's in the family room and it also can kind of collect in the stairway between the first and second floors. While I was doing some housecleaning yesterday evening I opened the windows on the second floor and got some good cross-ventilation going and the smell seemed to dissipate. The Husband opened up the garage door, the back sliding door and then febreezed the heck out of the garage and family room where the smell had been concentrated (you see, we hosted a playdate today and didn't want to have the whole play area smell like gasoline, I'm sure you can understand!)

This morning, the stairway was clear and the family room was okay-- we also kept some of the windows open a smidge. Then, this evening the smell started to build up again. So, I called the fire department. I used the police non-emergency number and asked whether they thought the fire department should come or if I should call PSEG. The dispatcher voted for fire department and we waited.

Next thing you know we've got two fire trucks, an ambulance, the fire chief's truck, another truck with other fire department personnel in it and lastly, a police car. Why is there a police car? Because one of the ladder trucks knocked the side view mirror off of a car sitting in traffic while the truck was turning onto our street!

According to the Husband this set off a discussion between the police officer and the driver of the car to the effect of "it's minor, do you really need to report it?" and between the police officer and the fire department "do we really need to do a drug/alcohol screen, or can't everyone just tell that you took the turn too wide?") and between the fire department and the driver of the car to the effect of "we can get you $500 out of petty cash..."

Of course we have virtually no driveway to speak of so all of these vehicles were lined up on our street out in front of our house and in front of the neighbor's to the left and right. The smell? Unclear. The fire guys (in all of their gear) used their high tech equipment to determine that there was a higher level of "combustible fumes" at a localized spot in our garage. However, there is no evidence of a gas spill or otherwise. Their advice? Empty out the garage and do a scrub down.


But, look at the chain of odd events we set in motion. Sorry to the guy who's one side mirror short!

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