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Mystery odor in Ohio communities blamed on Lake Erie

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Firefighters and utility officials in Ohio said a mysterious, natural gas-like odor reported in several communities Thursday was the result of an inversion from Lake Erie's waters.

The Willowick Fire Department said it and other departments in lakeside communities received about 60 calls Thursday morning from residents reporting an odor that some callers compared to the smell of natural gas.

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Fire departments in Eastlake, Willoughby, Mentor and Mentor-on-the-Lake received similar calls.

Mentor firefighters responded alongside crews from Dominion Energy, and determined that no natural gas leaks had occurred in the affected areas.

Mentor spokesperson Ante Logarusic said investigators determined the odor was likely the result of lake inversion, which results from strong winds causing gunk from the bottom of Lake Erie to be swept to the surface.

Marie Gorman, a biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said lake inversions are not uncommon, but it's unusual for it to happen so close to the shore.

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