Firefighters respond to gas spill on lake

By CHRISTOPHER ROYExpress Staff WriterNEWPORT CITY – Firefighters closed off a section of the boardwalk and parking lot of Little G’s Market on Saturday while they dealt with a gasoline spill that entered Lake Memphremagog.Firefighters responded to Little G’s Market in Rail Road Square around 3 p.m. Fire Chief Jamie LeClair said someone passing by smelled gas and reported the spill to Little G's clerk. However, no vehicles were around at the time and the source of the spill is unknown as is the amount of time the gas had been there. Firefighters contained the spill. LeClair estimated between 25 and 30 gallons of gas had spilled onto the ground near the cement pad by the store's gas pumps, but he was unsure of how much had actually entered the lake. Upon checking the pumps no leaks were found and the previous sale indicated only 16 gallons of gas had been purchased.Derby Line Fire Department responded to the scene with booms to contain the gas that had entered the lake. LeClair is confident firefighters were able to clean up all of the gas.“When we left, there was no sign of any sheen (gas) in the water,” said LeClair.LeClair notified the Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Agency of Natural Resources, but neither responded. LeClair said the Hazardous Materials Response Team felt the firefighters had the situation under control and ANR personnel said they would have preformed the same procedure as LeClair and his team did.LeClair asks that anyone who saw gas leaking from a vehicle on Saturday to notify the fire department or police department. “If they had reported it when it first happened, it would have been much easier to contain and clean up,” added First Assistant Fire Chief Phil Laramie.ANR will decide if there will be any investigation or fines.In all, 18 firefighters between Newport City and Derby Line responded.Firefighters cleared the scene at 6:30 p.m.