Madill, TX – Officials have released the findings of their investigation into what caused a house in Madill to explode Tuesday morning. The Madill fire chief says that back in 1992, a new gas line was incorrectly installed in that neighborhood. KTEN’s Andrea Kurys reports.
When the gas line was installed 15 years ago, it was accidentally bored through the sewer system line. After sewer problems this week, maintenance crews thought tree roots were blocking the line. They used a root cutter to dig down into the system, and hit the gas line that nobody expected to be there.
Natural gas then began seeping through the sewer system and up into the houses in that area. Officials say the gas that had built up in 88-year-old Gertrude Dunn’s home was ignited by a pilot light in the wall furnace.
Chief Keith Pruitt said, “We were very fortunate that that was the only home involved in the explosion. With the gas actually entering the other residences, the mixture of the gas with the oxygen in those other areas was not rich enough to create an explosion.”
Fire officials say the maintenance crews did take the right steps after they realized they had hit the gas line. Fire crews and Oklahoma Natural Gas officials were on the scene less than 15 minutes before the explosion. A five-block radius was evacuated while gas and electricity to the area was shut off.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing, as officials will have to retrace everyone involved. The house and it’s contents were worth about 35 thousand dollars. There is no word yet on who, if anyone, will be responsible for the damages.