Gas leak causes city-wide stink

"There is no threat to the public, it just smells bad," fire chief says

LAKE CITY, Fla. – During maintenance to Lake City’s natural gas system Wednesday, a canister containing Mercaptan accidentally released a small amount of the substance.

In its concentrated form, the small amount released into the air has caused a distinctive odor to be present throughout much of the city.

Officials said the gas is not dangerous and the public should not be alarmed. Further, if the odor is detected in outdoor areas, the Lake City Fire Department and Lake City Natural Gas Department are already aware and working on the issue.

“We are following our hazardous material procedure and working to mitigate the release of this substance,” Lake City Fire Chief Frank Armijo said. “There is no threat to the public, it just smells bad.”

Anyone who detects the distinct odor inside a building, such as a home or business, are asked to call for assistance so a leak can be investigated and ruled out.

Officials stressed that the public should not be alarmed if they smell this odor in outdoor areas.