Quick-thinking mail carrier saves Eastlake families from gas leak

EASTLAKE - A local mailman is being praised for saving two Eastlake families from a potential disaster while delivering their mail Friday.

"Our mailman was banging on the door," said Geri Mattingly of Eastlake. "I mean furiously bang, bang, bang."

The startled couple was alerted by a United State Postal Service letter carrier about a possible gas leak. HeĀ urged them to get out of the home and call their gas company.

"When I walked up I smelled gas - the wind blew it right in my face," said letter carrier Steven Farkas.

Farkas says he had no tools with him to double check the leak, only his nose and a hunch things could turn dangerous even deadly if he didn't act fast. He checked the gas meter before alerting the elderly couple.

"You see these mailmen going up and down your street and all you think they're doing is dropping a piece of mail in your mailbox," said Gene Mattingly, Geri's husband. "But these are other things they do that they don't get recognition for."

While the Mattingly's say call Farkas a hero, he isn't so quick to accept the title.

"I'm just out here doing my job really it's what I would want my letter carrier to do if it was my house," said Farkas.

As a letter carrier for the past four years Farkas says this incident is the third time he's detected a gas leak while delivering mail.

"He was a substitute mailman he wasn't even our regular mailman," said Geri. "I guess it was just our lucky day. God meant for him to be here."

The Mattingly's say not only did Farkas save them from a possible home explosion, his quick thinking also lead to a discovery next door. Dominion Energy crews found a gas leak at a neighbor' house as well, potentially helping two families avoid tragedy.

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