Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Elyria 66°


Roof pipes source of gas leak at Lorain County Jail


Pipes that are almost 40 years old in the roof of the Lorain County Jail were the site of “numerous” gas leaks at the jail Tuesday evening, according to a jail report.

About 6:30 p.m., the Elyria Fire Department found high levels of carbon dioxide in a boiler room in Lorain County Jail. Columbia Gas responded to the jail about 7:30 p.m. and found carbon dioxide was coming from a gas leak in the east boiler room in the jail.

Columbia Gas shut down the boiler and its main gas line, but the level of carbon dioxide was not high enough to warrant evacuating anyone from the building, said Lorain County Jail Administrator Andrew Laubenthal.

Gas levels began to decrease as soon as the boiler was shut down, a report said.

Workers from Columbia Gas inspected the rest of the building and found “numerous” gas leaks coming from pipes in the roof, Laubenthal said.

He said the pipes were installed when the roof was built in 1976. Responding to why the pipes had not been repaired earlier, Laubenthal said that all parts of the jail are in a set maintenance schedule.

“That schedule might need to be re-examined,” he said.

Vendors have been brought in to repair the boiler unit and the pipes in the roof, Laubenthal said.

He added that gas leaks are a first for the jail.

“It’s got its share of problems, but this is new,” he said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

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