Gas fumes leaking into home from nearby gas station

The Admiral gas station located at 206 S State Street in Sparta. (Feb. 13, 2015)

SPARTA, Mich. (WOOD) – A Sparta family has been forced from their home because of a high concentration of gasoline fumes.

Mark and Deeann Smith have lived in their house on E Averill Street in Sparta for the better part of a decade.

Last Sunday, the Smiths noticed a faint smell of gasoline in their basement. Eventually, the smell became unbearable and now they have been forced out of their home.

The likely culprit is some sort of leak from the Admiral gas station located at 206 S State Street, just feet from the Smith’s rental home.

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Admiral brought in independent contractors to try to locate the problem. The DEQ says it and Admiral are working under the assumption that the gas station is the source. The next step will be fixing the problem.

“The best case remediation story is, you know, we find a very narrow plume of gasoline that we are able to dig out of the ground,” said David O’Donnell with the DEQ. “Worst case is that we have to remove the house and a bunch of dirt and groundwater and have a piece of property that’s impaired for quite some time.”

Wells were dug or drilled in strategic locations to determine if there is gas and how big the spill or leak might be.

Monday, Sparta Village Manager Julius Suchy said Admiral took borings on Friday and had not yet identified any leaks. The DEQ will conduct additional testing this week.

On Friday, fire officials went door-to-door. There was no evidence that any other property has been affected.

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