KPRC – A northwest Harris County home exploded Tuesday, injuring the 70-year-old homeowner.
Edith Gilbert returned to her home in the 3600 block of Mattingham around 11 a.m. When she walked into the living room, a powerful explosion rocked the home.
Windows were shattered and doors were blown off their hinges. The kitchen looked like an earthquake had hit.
“All I know, I went in the house, sat in the chair and that’s when the boom happened,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert then saw flames. “I looked around — the paper towel was on fire on the kitchen floor, so I (ran) in there and stomped it out and hit the door,” she said.
“She didn’t know her hair was on fire. (A roll of paper towels) caught fire and that’s what she was putting out. That’s the reason she got burned on the leg,” said Earl Gilbert, Edith’s son.
Fire officials and CenterPoint Energy found the probable source.
“It appears to be that one of the stove eyes was turned on just a tad bit. And over a long period of time, the gas accumulation built up in the house, found an ignition source, and the house blew up,” said Wes Cole, with the Northwest Volunteer Fire Department.
A lit cigarette or a bug fogger close to a pilot light could have triggered the fire and the blast, according to officials.
Since all the windows blew outward, none of the shards of glass hit Gilbert. Her family said she is lucky to be alive.
“They say she got the full impact from the explosion and they want to check her out,” said Valerie Pritchett, the victim’s daughter.
Gilbert was taken to a local hospital with burns to her head, hands, feet and legs.