"I hear you're a good case man, but if you fuck up on my detail I'll have you out of here before your feet touch the ground."
Lachlan McKelty

The Gas Man is an Arson case in L.A. Noire. This is the first case Cole Phelps takes on the Arson desk after being demoted from the Vice desk due to the scandal he caused.



The opening cutscene shows Cole Phelps at the Wilshire Police Station, sitting down at his table while the following conversation takes place:

Lachlan Mckelty: "Okay everyone, keep it down. Cole Phelps joins the Arson squad today."
William Tilden: "(chuckles) How'd you like porking that German whore, Phelps?"
Lachlan Mckelty: "Phelps is up before a review board in December. Until then he works the Arson desk. End of story. Phelps."
Cole Phelps: "Yes, sir."
Lachlan Mckelty: "I don't care what you did or didn't do, Phelps. I hear you're a good case man, but if you fuck up on my detail, I'll have you out of here before your feet touch the ground. Do we have an understanding?"
Cole Phelps: "Yes, sir."
William Tilden: "Cap, we don't want a fucking rat like Phelps..."
Lachlan Mckelty: "Can it, Tilden. Phelps, I'm partnering you with Herschel Biggs."
Herschel Biggs: "I don't do partners. You know that, cap."
Lachlan Mckelty: "You do now, Biggs. Social basket cases like you two should get along just fine. Biggs will show you the ropes, Phelps."
Herschel Biggs: "This is Arson. There are no ropes."
Lachlan Mckelty: "It shouldn't take long, then. Start with these two. House fires. 326 South Kenmore Avenue. Steffens family was out of town when it happened. Then go to 4414 Rosewood, family by the name of Sawyer. Fire brigade will be on location"
Cole Phelps: "Are they suspicious, Captain?"
Lachlan Mckelty: "That's for you to find out, Detective. Now get out of here, both of you. Get out!"

Steffens House Fire

After Phelps and Biggs get in a car, the following conversation between the two will happen:

Cole Phelps: "How long have you been working Arson?"
Herschel Biggs: "We going to do the small talk thing now? Talk baseball, exchange addresses? I don't think so. You feeling down, hotshot? Need a buddy? Well... look somewhere else."
Cole Phelps: "So this is how it's going to be, partner?"
Herschel Biggs: "I already told you, I don't do partners. I seen you on your first day, hero? Walking into the station with your chest puffed out like a little kid at his confirmation. You wouldn't have given me the time of day, and now you need somebody and that somebody is supposed to be me... well, it's not going to happen."
Cole Phelps: "That's quite a speech. I heard you were the strong silent type."
Herschel Biggs: "You cracking wise, Phelps?"
Cole Phelps: "No, Biggs. I'm breaking the ice."
Herschel Biggs: "Just drive, hotshot."

Interview Don Steffens

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Travel Competition Truth
Suburban Redevelopment Doubt

Steffens will give you the Competition Ticket clue and the location of the Gulliver's Travel Agency. After speaking with Steffens, you need to search for one clue. Go to the left side of the house near the chimney. If you look at the fence, you should see an InstaHeat heater box. Check it for the clue.

Now, use the gamewell down the street to get the address for the Suburban Redevelopment Fund.

Gulliver's Travel Agency

Upon arriving at the agency, you will talk to John Cunningham. He will provide a ledger where you will need to tap your finger on the Steffens family and the Sawyers family on the left hand page. After selecting the families' names, you will now interview him.

Interview John Cunningham

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Suburban Redevelopment Truth
Promotional Travel Contest Doubt

NOTE: If you do not visit the travel agency before investigating the Sawyer house, a glitch will occur where Cunningham will not be present. The door will be inactive and the player will be forced to restart the case.

Sawyer House Fire

Upon arriving, you'll meet Albert Lynch and Jake Rampley. After the cutscene, talk to the coroner and then examine the bodies of the deceased family.

Stencil Found
Regulator Valve
On the ground a few feet away from the house, to the right when facing the house.
Description Gas flow regulator valve, fire damaged, recovered from Sawyer residence
Clue White Clues Regulator valve

"Phelps - the guy across the street... I've seen him before. He likes fires."
―Albert Lynch

After discovering the valve, you will need to chase down Herbert Chapman, a known pyromaniac who is identified by Albert Lynch. You will have to chase down and tackle him, or wait until he has run out of stamina and fight him hand to hand. He is the first suspect in this case.

Suburban Redevelopment

The site turns out to be an Elysian housing development work site. If you want, you can enter the small building to your left to discover a note from Leland Monroe; however, this does not count towards the case.

The location of the Fire Station No. 32 will now become available.

Fire Station No. 32

When you arrive, Albert Lynch will show you the heater panel from the Sawyer house. He will then explain how the explosion happened and set up a demonstration for you to complete. Put the balloon on the right, the regulator valve in the middle, and the Bunsen burner on the left.

NOTE: In the fire station, there is the American LaFrance Fire Truck that can be used towards the Auto Fanatic achievement/trophy.

InstaHeat Factory

Interview Ivan Rasic

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
InstaHeat Model 70 Doubt Clue Ivan Rasic's statement
Heater Service History Lie Heater Serviced by Ryan/Varley

Phelps will then ask for a list of installers.

Stencil Found
On Rasic's desk
Description List of InstaHeat water heater installers and service providers
Clue White Clues List of gas fitters

Use the phone to your left to check all of the names on the list for criminal records. The names of Walter Clemens, Matthew Ryan, and Reginald Varley will appear in your notebook, as well as their criminal record clues. Talk to Rasic again for the addresses of all three suspects.

Clemens' Locker

First, search Clemens' locker.

Stencil Found
Clemens' locker.
Description Leaflet containing anarchist propaganda, found in Walter Clemens' locker
Clue White Clues Clemens' anarchist pamphlet

Ryan's Locker

Next, search Ryan's locker.

Stencil Found
Ryan's Anarchist Pamphlets
Ryan's locker.
Description Anarchist propaganda for distribution, found in Matthew Ryan's locker
Clue White Clues Ryan's anarchist pamphlets

Varley's Locker

Finally, search Varley's locker.

Stencil Found
Mosquito Coils
Varley's locker.
Description Mosquito repellent coils, found in Reginald Varley's locker
Clue White Clues Mosquito coils

If you haven't driven one yet, drive an InstaHeat van in the parking lot for progress with the Auto Fanatic achievement/trophy. There should also be a Packard Custom vehicle in the InstaHeat Factory parking lot, one of the only places it can be found. And if you walk across the street there will be a Chevrolet Model 2 pickup.

Suspects' Worksites

If you want the Auto Fanatic achievement/trophy. You can after you have interviewed Clemens walk across the road into the parking lot and find a Ford Deluxe Convertible.

Interview Walter Clemens

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Knowledge of Varley Doubt Clue Walter Clemens' statement
Employment with InstaHeat Doubt
Knowledge of Ryan Lie Clemens' Anarchists Pamphlet

Apprehend Reginald Varley

It is very easy to catch Varley with a warning shot as he crosses the street during the initial foot-chase. If you fail to stop him with a warning shot, he will eventually reach his truck and flee.

By firing a warning shot, you can earn the Not So Hasty achievement, if you've not already done so. 

Chase Matthew Ryan

Matthew Ryan will try to escape in his car. Do not be afraid to use your brake; he takes tight corners and getting hung on even one of them means restarting the chase over again. Biggs will try to shoot out his tires but if he fails to stop Ryan, a tram will eventually run into Ryan's vehicle, causing it to roll and ending the chase. At times, the tram will not stop Ryan. If it doesn't, then continue chasing him until he hits a pole.

Wilshire Police Station

Interview Matthew Ryan (Interview Room 1)

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Anarchist Literature Lie Ryan's Anarchist Pamphlets
InstaHeat Model 70 Lie Ivan Rasic's Statement
Suburban Redevelopment Doubt Clue Matthew Ryan's Statement
Attempted Murder Charge Doubt/Lie Ryan's Criminal Record

NOTE: If you charge Ryan now, you can still get a 5 star rating. If you do not charge him, leave interview room 1 and proceed to interview room 2.

Interview Reginald Varley (Interview Room 2)

Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Work at Sawyer residence Lie Heater Serviced by Varley
Suburban Redevelopment Lie Walter Clemen's Statement, Matthew Ryan's Statement
InstaHeat Model 70 Lie Mosquito coils

If you charge Varley, you will only obtain 3 stars and Lachlan McKelty will tell you off, but if you charge Ryan, you will get 5 stars.

Case Briefing

"The Arson desk took reports overnight of fires at 326 South Kenmore and 4414 Rosewood. Residential, no background, no mention of suspicious circumstances or insurance. All we know is that they used to be houses and now they're piles of ash. Biggs and I have been assigned to investigate, though I hardly even know what that means. My new partner doesn't seem very forthcoming on the subject."

Case Notes

  • "Clemens served four years for Arson and would have proudly shared his motive if questioned."
    • "The case against Varley looks dangerously thin for a man facing four counts of murder."
      • "Matthew Ryan fronts the Grand Jury with four murder charges around his neck."

Video Walkthrough

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 17 - The Gas Man (5 Star)53:14

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 17 - The Gas Man (5 Star)


  • Aaron Staton (Cole Phelps), Rich Sommer (John Cunningham), and Vincent Kartheiser (Walter Clemens) are co-stars on the television series Mad Men.
  • Michael Shamus Wiles (Albert Lynch) and Keith Szarabajka (Herschel Biggs) were co-stars on the television series Sons of Anarchy.
  • Michael Shamus Wiles (Albert Lynch) and Michael Bofshever (Ivan Rasic) were co-stars on the television series Breaking Bad.
  • Vincent Kartheiser (Walter Clemens) and Keith Szarabajka (Herschel Biggs) were co-stars on the television series Angel.
  • It is possible to view all of the destroyed buildings in this and the later arson cases during the Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, and Vice desks (most easily during free roam).
  • Coroner Mal Carruthers says that the deceased Sawyer family were "all in bed, by the looks of it;" but the three visible corpses are fully clothed.
  • The player is given a handicap in that the arsonist is shown from the back putting tools in the back of a van during the cutscene when leaving the InstaHeat building, and while his face isn't visible, his hair is, and he clearly is a different man than either of the two main suspects. Additionally, the van is clearly a Chevrolet, not an Instaheat International. Therefore, the player ends the case knowing that neither of the final suspects is actually the culprit.
  • This case is arguably "unfair" from a gameplay perspective, since the evidence against Varley is at least as strong as that against Ryan, but unlike similar 2-suspect cases on the Homicide desk (where, similarly, neither suspect is the real perpetrator), the game considers charging Varley a "fail."
  • Gulliver's Travel Agency is most likely a reference to Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels.
  • The title of the case is very similar to The Wicker Man.
  • This is the only case on the Arson desk where the player must charge a suspect.


  • There is a bug that can be experienced during the investigation of the Sawyer House Fire. If you find the Instaheat regulator valve before inspecting the bodies, you will have to go back and inspect the bodies to complete the investigation of the Sawyer House Fire. However, after inspecting the bodies, the "investigation music" will not stop playing despite the fact that there is nothing else to find. (Experienced on a PS3 and 360, as well as PC).
  • There is a bug that can be experienced during the chase with Ryan. If he hits the train but does not stop his car, he may get out and the only way out is to restart or exit the case. (Experienced on a Xbox 360).
  • During the final question of the Ryan interview a bug may cause you to not be able to choose the "Lie" option after using an intuition point. Backing out of the accusation and interview completely, Ryan will say he isn't done yet, will bring the option back. Selecting "Lie" and then "Ryan's criminal record" will then acquire The Hunch achievement or trophy. (Experienced on Xbox 360)
  • Chasing the man 'interested in fires', results in the character hiding behind a wall and the Phelps' character not being able to interact a fight with him. (Experienced on Xbox 360 and PC)
  • In the PS3 and PC versions, the regulator the arsonist tampers with in the opening cutscene may be invisible.

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