Arvin families still homeless after gas leak

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Families impacted by that gas leak in Arvin are still homeless.  Kern County Fire and other agencies continue to work on plans to get the situation under control. 

Despite flammable levels being extremely brought down since last week, it remains a dangerous situation as some of the families are now living out of at a Bakersfield hotel left wondering how long they have to be there.

Pedro Garcia is concerned over the future of his neighborhood.

“If there was an explosion next door, it would put all us living in this area, in great danger,” he said.

Garcia’s son lives a few houses down.  They had to be evacuated from their Arvin home after environmental health officials found a potentially dangerous gas leak almost a week ago.

“They are very scared, living day by day, not knowing if they can return home.  Right now, the family is staying at an apartment with relatives until they figure out what to do next,” said Garcia.

Some of the other evacuees are staying at the Residence Inn in Bakersfield.  Although, expenses are being covered, hotel managers say several people haven’t checked in.

“Currently, they are using equipment to test the hazardous, flammable levels of vapors, both inside the structures and to the rear of the structure. They have input a evacuation system into the backyard, which is continuously running 24 hours, extracting as much of the hazardous vapors as possible,” said Brett Grassi of the Kern County Fire Department.

Advance G.O. Environmental Incorporated and health officials remain in Arvin.  They’re conducting further testing on the 8 homes impacted by the gas leak.   A few families frustrated with the situation, didn’t want to talk on camera, but are grateful they’re okay, and allowed to get some of their personal belongings out of their homes.

“All the testing we’ve done over there have shown absolutely zero percent flammable range for the vapors so they are completely okay at this time and safe, and should not be worried at all,” he said.

The company is working everyday to get piping in for the permanent extraction system and hope to have that plugged in by next week.


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