A section of Route 131 in the town of Louisville was shut down Monday after the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a reported smell of propane. Courtesy of the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department

LOUISVILLE — A section of Route 131 in the town of Louisville was shut down after the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a reported smell of propane.

In a Facebook post, the department said firefighters were dispatched to the scene at about 4:30 p.m. Monday and discovered that a 500-pound underground propane tank was leaking.

“The home was evacuated and neighbors were notified. St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director Matthew Denner responded to the scene and began to request resources,” the department said.

Hazmat-trained specialists from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control from the Oswego and Albany areas responded to the scene.

Mr. Denner said they couldn’t get to the valve to stop the liquid propane from escaping, so they had to use the valve that lets out propane gas and burn it off. For that, a special kit from needed from Oswego.

“In order to prevent the propane from collecting on the ground and causing a potential explosion and uncontrolled fire, flaring equipment was requested. Oswego City Fire Department members responded to the scene with flaring equipment. Flaring provides an opportunity to capture the propane and release it safely,” Louisville fire officials said.

Mr. Denner said the flaring started at about 10:30 p.m., and it stopped around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

He said the St. Lawrence County hazmat team, along with those from Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Washington and Warren counties are in a consortium to get better grant funding. They had recently ordered two propane flaring kits, but they haven’t arrived yet.

“Those kits have been ordered, we just haven’t received them yet,” Mr. Denner said. “We will have a couple of those up in the north country.”

Louisville firefighters thanked the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Oswego Fire Department and St. Lawrence County Emergency Services for their assistance, and the Massena Volunteer Fire Department and Massena Rescue Squad for providing standby assistance.

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