Firefighters: Foul smell, but no gas leak in Huntersville neighborhood

Huntersville firefighters are in the Tanners Creek neighborhood early Wednesday after residents said they smelled natural gas in the air.

Firefighters said there had been no gas leak, and there was no emergency. The odor, they said, actually came from a spill of Mercaptan, a harmless but pungent-smelling gas that’s added to natural gas to detect leaks.

A fire spokesman said the Mercaptan odor -- think rotten eggs or cabbage -- is more potent now because the cold air is keeping it closer to the ground.

The odor was reported in the 7100 block of April Mist Trail at about 6:30 a.m. That’s less than a half-mile from Hopewell High School.

Piedmont Natural Gas, which reported the spill, was trying to identify the source of the Mercaptan spill. Anyone with concerns about natural gas is asked to call 800-752-7504.

Joe Marusak and WBTV News