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Quick-thinking neighbors jump into action after smelling natural gas

Josh Graham and his daughter Caitlyn instantly recognized the smell of natural gas in their neighborhood. They immediately called Atmos Energy.

CARROLLTON, Texas — Josh Graham and his daughter Caitlyn were walking home from neighborhood piano lessons Thursday when they smelled natural gas. 

"It hit me," Josh said. "You can really get that smell. It was strong."

That five minute walk turned into a night of mystery. 

Josh said it was unclear where the gas smell was originating from. It permeated their Carrollton neighborhood. 

But Josh did what Atmos Energy has been preaching, "Smell Gas? Act Fast!" He immediately called the emergency hotline and crews were in the neighborhood within the hour. 

A hissing noise from a line drew crews to the back of Aide Trevino's home, just four doors down from the Grahams.

"When I opened up the garage, we just got hit by all the gas smell," Trevino said.

She said they hadn't smelled anything inside the home, which scares her.

"We were all about to go to bed," Trevino said. "I couldn't imagine what could have happened."

Atmos Energy ended up shutting off gas to the home Thursday night.

Credit: WFAA
Aide Trevino

Atmos said since the leak occurred to the customer's line, it was the customer's responsibility to fix it. 

"It hit a little home because I know the incident that happened in North Dallas," Trevino said. "That's my old neighborhood."

In 2018, Linda "Michellita" Rogers, 12, was killed after her home exploded. 

RELATED: Exclusive: Heartbreaking videos show moments before fatal gas explosion

After Michellita’s death, Atmos did evacuate thousands of neighbors and began a massive project to replace dozens of miles of pipe in that area of Dallas. 

Atmos blamed unusually heavy rains that they said caused significant underground shifting that resulted in numerous leaks.

Trevino is thankful for the little things that led to a big discovery. 

Credit: WFAA
Caitlyn Graham and her dad, Josh Graham

She is thankful for Caitlyn's piano lessons and for the short walk the Grahams took when they noticed the smell.

"I feel like [they] saved us," Trevino said.

The gas leak was detected by Atmos and fixed by a local technician.

The Trevinos won't have gas until Monday, which is a very small price to pay, all things considered.

Atmos sent WFAA the following public service reminder in the event you smell natural gas:

Atmos Energy would like to remind everyone if you think you smell gas? Act fast! Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and the Atmos Energy emergency number, 866.322.8667 or report it here

  • Do not turn on or off any electric switch; this could cause a spark, igniting the gas.
  • Do not use a cell phone, telephone, garage door opener, doorbell or even a flashlight.
  • Do not smoke, use a lighter or strike a match.
  • Do not start or stop a nearby vehicle or machinery.
  • Do not try to shut off a natural gas valve.
  • Do not assume someone else will report the leak.

RELATED: Family of 12-year-old killed in Dallas gas explosion settles lawsuit against Atmos Energy

RELATED: Residents sue Atmos over 2018 home explosion in northwest Dallas

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RELATED: Texas House passes resolution in honor of Dallas girl killed in home explosion

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