Huntersville leaders honor teens who discovered major gas leak

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — The town of Huntersville is thanking two teens for discovering an environmental catastrophe that could have been a lot worse.

Huntersville Mayor John Anarella gave “keys to the city” to teens Owen Fehr and Walker Sell.

Fehr and Sell were riding all-terrain vehicles when they discovered a gas leak. An estimated 1.2 million gallons of gasoline have spilled.

“I’ve smelled gas before. It smelled like a gas leak,” Fehr said. “[Walker] was covering his nose.”

“We smelled something as we drove by, and it got worse and worse as we drove past it,” Sell said. “As we drove back, we saw it. We were right on top of it.”

In addition to keys to the city, Anarella gave Fehr and Sell a gift bag of trinkets.

The two teens almost didn’t go ATV riding that day. They admit a parent asked them to stay away from the gas line. But the town of Huntersville is thankful they didn’t.

Anarella said without their discovery, millions of more gallons of gasoline might have leaked.

The mayor also praised the teens for making sure the fire department was called to respond to their discovery of the gas leak.

“It went through our head we could maybe get in trouble, but I think it is a little more important,” Sell said.

“It is just crazy,” Fehr said. “I never thought we would find a gas leak.”

Without Sell and Fehr, Anarella said the gas might have continued to leak for at least five more days.