Hometown Heroes: Man risks his life to save others from natural gas leak

Hometown Heroes

After a truck crashed into the furnace room of a Colorado Springs apartment complex last October, the manager jumped into action and rushed into each unit where there was a high concentration of free-flowing natural gas.

“There was a white truck that smashed into the side of our building,” said Jerrell Jinkins, who was the manager of the Murray Hill Apartments. “You could hear it.”

The truck took out a few natural gas lines, and Jinkins knew he had to get people out. He went door to door evacuating everyone.    

“The building may blow up,” Jinkins said. “You could smell the gas smell. It was really thick and I almost passed out.”

He kept going, even kicking in a couple of doors to get people out.  

“I just want to get one more out, one more out, one more out,” Jinkins said. 

He thought everyone was safe, but then he had a feeling something wasn’t right. 

“What do you know? Unit 207 there was a 2-year-old left in the crib in that unit,” he said. “I grabbed that baby and got it out.”

That day, 28 people got out safely, and he stopped the leak.  

“When the utility company came out and measures the rate of gas that was even 30 feet away from the building, if there had been a match lit, it would have been over,” Jinkins said.  

He said he’d do it all again and is honored to receive the Hometown Heroes award.

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