Austin, MN- Fire officials say they know the cause of the house explosion in Albert Lea that severely injured three people more than a month ago.
Fire investigators have determined that an uncapped gas valve in the kitchen was leaking natural gas, and a simple spark caused the explosion.
At the break of dawn on April 27th, the residents on Academy Avenue were shaken by the sound of an explosion.
Now, after more than a month of investigating, fire officials have finally determined the cause.
“We did determine that there was an uncapped gas line going into the kitchen that had a valve to it that was in the open position,” says fire
That open gas valve was originally connected to a gas stove, when it was removed and replaced with an electric stove; the gas line was not capped
like it should have been.
“Anytime you take out a gas valve you need to plug or cap the valve,” says Ron Hanna, Owner of Hanna Cooling and Heating.
Officials say, just switching the valve to off without capping it isn’t good enough.
Bumping the valve or having someone turn it on will cause gas to pour into your home, possibly causing an explosion like this one.
“Trace all the lines in your home, make sure they are all hooked up, or capped or plugged,” says Hanna.
A leaking gas valve will make a hissing sound, smelling gas or hear the hissing sound means one thing.
“Get out of your house immediately try not to flip any switches, try not to use the phone, or anything that may cause a spark like that,” says an inspector.
Because even the tiniest spark, can cause this.
“Static electricity, somebody lighting a cigarette, somebody lighting a match, turning on a light switch,” says an inspector.
Getting out of your house immediately and using a neighbor’s phone to call 911, could mean saving your home, and you life.
Many heating and cooling businesses in the area, like Hanna’s, have a 24-hour emergency line…
So if you do smell or hear gas, a technician can come to your home right away.