While cooking spaghetti last night on my gas cook top I smelled what seemed like a lighter fluid smell coming from the burners. I tried switching burners but they all smelled. I googled this and came across a site that said to call the local electric company because it could be a gas leak. That was terrifying. So I called CPS, our local electric and gas company and after explaining the situation, they told me to leave the house but not open any doors or windows somehow (and also not to use the phone, hmmm) and also not to turn on or off any lights. By this time it is about 10:30 at night with the kids in bed and two dogs and a husband who is telling me I'm crazy because it's not a gas leak. Ugh. We do have a carbon monoxide detector which wasn't going off but that wasn't making me feel any better. While in a fret wanting to get everyone out quickly the phone rang and I could tell it was the person that they were sending out to my house to check out the leak. Should I answer? They just told me not to use the phone and they're calling ME. Well as it turns out, they were calling to ask me if I had been doing any painting in the house. Strange question but it seems that the enamel paint that I was using in my laundry room was mixing with the flame on the gas cook top to make that smell. No gas leak after all. Of course they still came out to check everything. (cook top, furnaces, fireplace lighter,etc.) While it was a late night to have to get up at 6 am, I was so relieved to know that we don't have a dangerous gas leak. I had never heard of this but after researching on the web a little more, it turns out that it's really a thing.
I thought that I would share this in case anyone has a similar situation. Of course you should ALWAYS contact your gas company if you smell something weird but at least if you've been painting you won't be sent into a "the house is going to explode any moment" freak out. We had just watched Breaking Bad too. I won't spoil it for those of you that haven't seen it but it did not help the situation at all.
I did have a circumstance in a previous house where there was a strange eggy smell outside and that did turn out to be a small gas leak. So I did know that the smells were quite different. It's still a very scary situation. All of this said, if you notice a weird smell, leave the house and take everyone with you and call your electric company from a neighbors house to be safe. Let them check it out just to be sure.