Fort Wayne, IN – A Fort Wayne man whose wife was fatally injured in a natural gas explosion at their home is suing the gas company, saying neighbors reported fumes before the blast.
Michael Betancourt’s 55-year-old wife, Janice, died in April, a month after suffering severe burns over 75 percent of her body. The lawsuit filed in Allen County court says she died from blood poisoning as a result of her injuries.
Investigators attributed the fire to a natural gas leak.
Court documents say Northern Indiana Public Service Co. employees repaired a leaking gas pipe on the couple’s property after the explosion without documenting the pipe’s damage.
A message was left seeking comment from a NIPSCO spokesman.
Coroner: Hazleton man died from carbon monoxide poisoning Hazelton, PA
Carbon monoxide claimed the life of a 22-year-old man found dead inside a vehicle in a Hanover Court garage on Friday, Hazleton Detective Cpl. David Bunchalk said.
The Luzerne County coroner’s office ruled Jonathan Jiminian’s death was accidental, he said.
Two other men who were with Jiminian inside the garage between Seventh and Eighth streets survived, Bunchalk said. They are Jiminian’s brother, Joel Jiminian, 19, and Robert Amaro, 20, of New York City, Bunchalk said.
Police said Amaro, who is in stable condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, may have been staying with the Jiminian family in their South Pine Street home.
The men were working in the garage Friday afternoon, when they decided to watch a movie on a DVD player inside a vehicle, Bunchalk said. The men became cold around 2:30 p.m. and started the vehicle inside the closed garage for a half-hour, he said.
The men apparently fell asleep or passed out. Joel Jiminian woke up, opened the garage, called his girlfriend and they then called for help, Bunchalk said.
Hazleton police received the call around 5:30 p.m., he said.