Keokuk, IA- By Cindy Iutzi, Gate City Staff Writer

A team of investigators, including Keokuk Fire Chief Mark Wessel, has determined the probable cause of an explosion that destroyed a home in Keokuk on July 2.

Representatives from the natural gas company, the insurance company, fire department and several other interested parties combed through the wreckage Tuesday at 2023 Meadow Lane, searching for indications of cause.

“It was natural gas, and most likely was the failure of a joint in the gas pipe inside the home,” Wessel said. “There were two breaks in the gas line in the home, but we don’t know what caused the failure – whether the breaks were a cause of or the result of the explosion. There possibly will be some metallurgy done.”

The home’s owners, Lowell and Carol Coker, were away on vacation at the time of the explosion, but their cat, Fred, was inside the house.

“As far as I know, we haven’t salvaged anything so far,” she said. “We’re doing okay. We’re going to rebuild as soon as the mess is cleaned up. We’ll start from there. We’re very thankful we’re all safe. We’re so thankful for all everyone in the town has done. Fred’s vet bill was taken care of by people we don’t even know.”