Brighton family narrowly escapes unusual natural gas leak into basement

DENVER -- A natural gas leak at one family's home in Brighton could have turned deadly.

They discovered their basement was filled with natural gas after an unusual leak outside their house.

It's a good reminder as many of us might be turning on our furnaces for the first time this season in coming days.

The potentially deadly intruder was creeping along their basement floor as Josh Torgerson was just getting into bed Wednesday night.

"I wasn't sure exactly what it was but I didn't really think much of it and I went to sleep but this morning I'll actually admit I had trouble even breathing,"

His parents had to come down to wake him.

"We opened our basement door and got just a flood of natural gas odor coming out of the basement,” his father Jeremy said. “So immediately we said it's got to be an appliance problem or a gas leak in the house."

They got out of the house and called Xcel Energy.

But it wasn't a leak 'inside' the house.

After investigating, Xcel crews discovered a significant leak on the outside line to the meter of their house.

"Who would have guessed that it would have traveled 45, 50 feet on the ground level and actually permeated into the house,” Jeremy said pointing to a window well.

“So I was basically being gassed from both windows," Josh said pointing to his bedroom wall.

But it's not just window wells that allowed in the gas,  Xcel says natural gas can actually seep through the building materials around your house.

One more reason utility companies add sulfur based mercaptan to natural gas so it smells like rotten eggs. It's something this family is grateful for.

"If you know anything about natural gas you don't mess around with it ... it's a useful tool but boy it can be very, very destructive if it's not contained correctly.”