The smell of gas filled the northern end of Brooklyn Heights on Saturday afternoon after a passing truck knocked the head off one of the charming gas lamps lining Poplar Street.
FDNY ladder companies 110, 118 and engine 205, along with FDNY Emergency 31 rushed to 81 Poplar Street at roughly 3:30 p.m. to shut off the gas flow feeding the lamp from an underground line. Firefighters were initially unable to reach the emergency gas shutoff valve because years of debris had collected on top of it.
“There’s so much sediment we have to pump it out to get to the shutoff valve,” a firefighter told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Pumper Company 205 blasted the debris from the sidewalk pit and firefighters used a special hook to shut off the gas.
The four-sided lamp, missing some of its glass, was laid by firefighters on the grass outside of the building.
National Grid spokesperson Karen Young told the Eagle that the company, which evolved from KeySpan and before that Brooklyn Union Gas, no longer maintains gas lamps in the city. Nowadays, she said, “Gas lamps are owned and maintained by property owners.”