Gary, IN- A natural gas explosion Thursday blew up a house in the Lake Ridge area of

Gary, sending one person to the hospital.

The explosion at 1608 W. 41st St. happened after two occupants attempted to

turn on their Northern Indiana Public Service Co. gas, according

to Mike Higgins, Lake County Sheriff’s spokesman.

Phil Bristow and Harold Fowler requested that NIPSCO install a gas meter at

their home, and NIPSCO obliged Thursday morning, said Mike

Suggs, NIPSCO spokesman. Suggs said NIPSCO officials turned the meter off

when they left the house. “I can’t speculate what happened

beyond that.”

Higgins said the two men were working on their furnace, turned on the gas

and attempted to relight the gas.

Bristow was conscious after the explosion and was taken to Methodist

Hospital’s Northlake Campus in Gary.

Fowler, who was in the basement when the house exploded, wasn’t hurt.

The explosion blew out the inside of the house, leaving a wobbly structure


“I feel real concern about the person who was in the home and was injured,”

Suggs said. “I wish him the best.”

NIPSCO officials said they will work with the police to investigate the


Contact Danielle Braff at 648-3079 or