GASOLINE FUMES TEMPORARILY CLOSE COUNTY TREASURER’S OFFICE

GASOLINE FUMES TEMPORARILY CLOSE COUNTY TREASURER’S OFFICE

An accidental gasoline spill in the basement of the Doña Ana County Courthouse prompted County Treasurer David Gutierrez to close the office for two hours Wednesday afternoon.

Doña Ana County Physical Plant Director Roy Torres said the spill involved less than six ounces of gasoline and occurred when a maintenance employee was fueling a piece of lawn-care equipment. Clean-up of the spill ensued immediately by county employees.

Fumes from the spill apparently wafted up from the basement into the Treasurer’s Office. No other Courthouse offices were affected. Gutierrez said the fumes were sufficiently strong in his office suite that some employees were becoming uncomfortable. After ordering all windows opened for ventilation, Gutierrez closed the office from noon to 2 p.m. for the well-being of both employees and customers.

“I would prefer to be safe than sorry,” Gutierrez said, explaining his decision to close the office.

Torres said there was never any danger of fire, but after conferring with Las Cruces Fire Department personnel, he said he has directed the maintenance employees to discontinue the practice of fueling maintenance equipment in enclosed areas. He said storage of the county’s fuel supplies is consistent with state laws and regulations.